Seller confusion over pet microchipping laws

THE state government has addressed confusion over changes to pet laws which prohibit advertising the sale of puppies or kittens, without first having them microchipped.The laws also cover people looking to give away pets, including “free to good home” ads seen in newspaper classifieds.Yesterday The Courier received a number of calls from confused people wanting to know if they could place ads.Changes to the Domestic Animals Act 1994 mean that anyone wishing to sell, or give away an animal must first implant them with an identification microchip before they advertise.All advertisements must now carry the microchip number of the animal.Agriculture and Food Security Minister Peter Walsh said the extra step needed to sell pets would not lead to an increase in dumping unwanted animals.“These tough laws will improve animal welfare standards by helping councils identify any unregistered cat or dog breeding establishments,” he said. “Giving away kittens or puppies to friends has not become illegal, but the new owner must have the animal implanted with a microchip before it can be registered with the local council.”Mr Walsh said it was up to local councils to police the new law changes.RSPCA spokesman Tim Pilgrim said the changes would make it easier for pounds to reunite animals with their owners.“It will also help provide a history for animals and traceability of breeders or sellers of pets, which is a positive step forward,” he said. City of Ballarat compliance co-ordinator Rob Muscat said the changes would create a “bit more pressure” on council officers, but staff would make sure people not following the rules would be dealt with.