Domestic animal businesses

What is a domestic animal business?

In Victoria, the Domestic Animals Act 1994 defines Domestic Animal Businesses as any of the following:

  • Council pound (operated by the Council or a contractor on behalf of Council).
  • A dog and/or cat breeding business – where there are three or more fertile females and animals are sold (whether a profit is made or not), and the proprietor is not a member of an Applicable Organisation. If the proprietor is a member of an Applicable Organisation, they are exempt from registering as a breeding Domestic Animal Business if they have less than 10 fertile female animals AND no more than 2 are not registered with an Applicable Organisation.
  • A dog training establishment (where the business is run for profit).
  • A pet shop (operated in a permanent location that must be open at least 5 days per week).
  • An animal shelter (e.g. welfare organisations such as the RSPCA and The Lost Dogs' Home).
  • An establishment boarding dogs or cats (where the business is run for profit to provide overnight, day
  • care or homecare boarding).
  • An establishment that is rearing dogs or cats (where the business is run for profit).

Do I need to register with Council?

You need to register with Council if your business meets any of the above criteria.

All domestic animal businesses must be registered annually with their local council and comply with the appropriate mandatory Code of Practice. Registrations must be renewed by 10 April each year and businesses can be fined for not complying.

Council has the authority to refuse registration of a business if they fail to comply with the legislation and appropriate mandatory code of practice. In addition, Council has the authority to set special conditions on the registration of any domestic animal business.

Owners of domestic animal breeding businesses must register the business and each animal belonging to the business over 3 months of age.

Council will inspect and audit the facility prior to registration each year. Upon satisfactory completion of the audit and payment of the registration fee, a certificate will be issued to the domestic animal business.

How do I register my business?

Complete a Domestic Animal Business application form (DOC 81Kb) and submit to Council via:

Is there a fee?

The 2019/20 fee is $320.50. Twenty dollars from each registration is levied for state government programs.

These funds are used to fund domestic animal education programs and campaigns and provides support to pet owners and local government in ensuring responsible pet ownership.

Looking for more information?

Find out more about Domestic Animal Businesses.