Issue 50 - Selling or giving away a cat or dog?



Pets play a central role in family life in NSW for many people, and ensuring the welfare of our cats and dogs is a key part of our responsibility as pet owners. 

The NSW Government continues to make changes to improve welfare outcomes for our companion animals in response to the Parliamentary Inquiry into Companion Animal Breeding Practices.

If you are involved in buying, selling, rehoming or adopting cats and dogs, there are specific changes you need to be aware of.

From 1 July 2019

If you are selling or giving away kittens, cats, puppies or dogs, you will need to include an identification number in any advertisements. The identification number can be either:

  • a microchip number
  • a breeder identification number, OR
  • a rehoming organisation number. 


This new rule applies regardless of:

  • the age of the animal
  • the place you plan to advertise
  • whether you are a hobby or professional breeder; or your cat or dog has had an accidental or one-off litter
  • whether or not you bred the animal
  • whether or not the animal you are selling or rehoming has been born yet.


If you advertise a cat or dog for sale from 1 July 2019, and don’t use an identification number, or you falsify a number, you could be issued with an on-the-spot fine or face court, where a maximum penalty of $5,500 applies.

The changes help people looking to buy a cat or dog search the NSW Pet Registry to see the animal’s: 

  • breed
  • sex
  • age
  • whether it is desexed
  • whether or not it is already registered 
  • whether any annual permit is in place (from 1 July 2019). 


A breeder identification number search will also display any business name listed in the Registry.

This enables buyers to do further research and make informed purchasing decisions. It also helps to promote responsible cat and dog breeding and selling. 

Over time, our enforcement agencies will be able to use this information to identify ‘problem’ breeders to enforce animal welfare laws. 

In order for these changes to be effective, it is really important that pet owners keep information in the NSW Pet Registry up to date.  

Cat and dog owners can easily create an online profile to help ensure they are reunited with their pet if it becomes lost. 

The Registry allows you to update your contact details, report your pet as missing, change the ownership of pets, and pay the lifetime registration fee. 

Cat and dog breeders are also encouraged to have an online profile. A breeder identification number will be generated which can be used to easily register litters and transfer the animals to their new owners. This breeder identification number can also be used as an identification number in advertisements. 

We appreciate your help to spread the word and make sure as many cat and dog owners and breeders are aware of the new rules. 

You can learn more about the new rules by visiting To update your details in the NSW Pet Registry, click here


How you can help

We need your help to reach as many people as possible before 1 July 2019. We have created a digital promotion pack including: 

  • social videos and tiles 
  • e-Newsletter content
  • a poster
  • ‘how to’ guides 
  • brochures.


We’d love you to use these materials on your social channels, on your website, in your newsletter and in your offices! 

Due to the large size of files, we have created a Dropbox folder that hosts all the materials. If you are unable to access Dropbox, or would like hard copies of the posters or brochures, please contact us


Key messages to use in your social media posts

Selling or giving away a cat or dog in NSW? 
From 1 July new rules will apply. 

You will need to include a microchip, or breeder, or rehoming body number in your ads. 
Find out more by visiting: