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NSW State Legislation
All MDBA Breeder Members agree to be bound to MDBA Rules. These can be found here.
Each person, who resides in NSW upon signing an application for membership or renewal of membership of the MDBA shall agree to comply with NSW State and Local Government Legislation, Regulations and Codes of Practice applying to the welfare, keeping, breeding, management and sales of dogs.
1. All NSW MDBA members are advised to investigate their legal responsibilities under Local Laws within their own Council Municipality in writing when owning and breeding dogs. This should be kept in an easily accessible file for future reference.
2. All NSW MDBA Breeder members are advised to have information from their local councils on: planning permits required for use of premises for dog breeding in their council area.
3. All NSW MDBA members must acquire all the requisite Planning Permits and Licenses to enable them to pursue their hobby of owning and breeding dogs in compliance with the MDBA Code of Ethics.
4. All NSW MDBA members must register and microchip dogs over three months of age with the local council in which they reside.
5. All NSW MDBA Dog owners must comply with the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act (1979)
6. Under the Act, breeders must comply with standards and guidelines for the care of breeding dogs with the following Codes:
- Animal Welfare Code of Practice – Breeding dogs and cats (PDF, 468.15 KB)
- The Companion Animals Act (1998)
Information For NSW Breeder Members.
If you reside in NSW and breed dogs regardless of how many dogs you own or breed you must commit to compliance with both the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act 1979 and the Companion Animals Act 1998 and their related Regulations as well as the NSW Animal Welfare Code of Practice – Breeding Dogs and Cats.
The NSW Animal Welfare Code is designed for everyone involved in the activity of breeding dogs and cats in NSW and has been developed to protect the welfare of the animals in their care. By adhering to this Code, our members involved in animal breeding demonstrate to the general community their concern for the welfare of the animals in their care.
Compliance with the animal welfare code does not remove the need for you to abide by the requirements of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1979 and any other laws and regulations, for example; the Local Government Act, 1993; or the Companion Animals Act, 1998.
This Code contains both standards and guidelines for the care of dogs or cats for breeding. The standards have legal effect in three ways:
• Failure to meet a standard may result in a Penalty Infringement Notice or a prosecution under Clause 20 of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (General) Regulation 2006.
• In more serious cases, failure to meet a standard may support a prosecution for an offence under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1979. Under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act 1979 the person in charge of an animal is responsible for meeting the legal obligations regarding an animal’s welfare. The person in charge, who may be the owner of the animal or another person who has the care or control of the animal, for example the breeding manager or a member of staff, is legally responsible for the care of the animal, and therefore for meeting the standards of this Code.
The MDBA also strongly recommends that these are seen as the minimum standards, within the NSW government's code of practice but members are always encouraged to exceed them, in striving towards best practice.
A full copy of the NSW code is available here.
If you have any questions or require advice or support relating to the compliance with the NSW regulations please don’t hesitate come back to us.
The MDBA Team
New South Wales
* MDBA Code of Ethics,
* MDBA Code of Practice Keeping Dogs
* MDBA Code of Practice Breeding Dog
* MDBA Code of Practice Sales
* MDBA Code of Practice for Heritable Defect Management.
MDBA Members Code of Ethics
- At all times and above all other considerations my primary focus will be on what is best for the health and welfare of my dogs.
- In all dealings under my MDBA membership I will always be straightforward, honest and truthful. I will not knowingly be associated with any information that contains materially false or misleading statements or which are misleading by omission.
- I/we will comply with all MDBA codes of Ethics and Codes of Practice and rules and all relevant legal and welfare requirements for my locality when keeping dogs, breeding dogs or selling a dog/puppy.
- I/we will not use the MDBA logo, my MDBA member status or number or my MDBA prefix to advertise or promote any dog that is not registered with the MDBA. (as of 02/08/2017)
- I/we will never allow anyone under any circumstances to use my member number or my member card for any purpose.
- I /we will not breed a dog if I am a Companion dog member unless I first become a Breeder member of the MDBA
- I/we will not knowingly permit any of my/our purebred dogs to be mated to a dog of a different breed, to a crossbred dog, to an unregistered dog of the same breed, or to a dog not on the MDBA registers without prior approval of the MDBA
- I/We will register all puppies that are live at the time of registration of the litter that I breed with the MDBA.
- I/we will do nothing which will bring the MDBA into disrepute.
Code of Practice Keeping of Dogs All Members NSW
- Members shall ensure proper care for all dogs under their control, whereby
- Canine appropriate food shall, at all times, be provided in sufficient quantity, nutritional quality and nutritional balance to meet the daily requirements for the condition, activities, age and size of each dog.
- All dogs shall have access at all times in their housing area, to a sufficient supply of fresh, clean, water which must be changed daily. All food and water utensils shall be kept clean.
- All dogs must be housed in a safe and secure manner suitable for the size and containment requirements of the dog and must provide protection from adverse environmental conditions and climatic extremes. Adequate ventilation and sufficient space must be provided for dogs to stand. The flooring area of pens/cages shall not be made from uncovered suspended wire. Each dog older than 16 weeks of age shall have access to a separate bed or sufficient bedding material, ensuring that all dogs can sleep comfortably at the same time.
- A member must, with a high standard of hygiene, keep clean all dog sleeping, housing and exercise areas by removing any faeces, wasted food, or soiled bedding daily. Any material on floors [toys, bedding, food, faeces etc.] must be removed prior to cleaning. Hard surfaces in pens and kennels should be disinfected weekly or more often when required. Veterinary advice for managing the cleaning of premises and management of isolation if a contagious illness occurs in dogs must be sought.
- A member must ensure that all dogs in a member’s care are provided with an appropriate amount of daily exercise, social contact and enrichment suitable to the individual needs of the dog.
- A member must ensure that all dogs receive a daily health check which should include examining the dog's physical condition, checking for signs of ill health and that the dog is eating, drinking, toileting and behaving normally.
- A member must ensure all dogs receive regular vaccinations for the control of contagious diseases. Preventative treatments for internal and external parasites, must be provided to safeguard the general health of dogs. Veterinarian advice should be sought and followed regarding vaccination and worming regimes, parasite control and dental health.
- A member must ensure that their dogs are groomed regularly especially breeds with a long or thick coat. Any sign of ill health or skin conditions such as allergies, skin irritations, bald spots or hot spots need to be investigated by a veterinarian as soon as possible.
- A member must ensure that they keep any poisons or chemicals used in the house, garden or work place stored away from any areas which a dog may have access.
- A member must ensure they take precautions to prevent dogs from becoming sunburned especially dogs with white hair, or white or non-pigmented nose, eyelids or ears such as use of sunscreen, or alternatively keep dogs indoors or in shaded areas during the heat of the day.
- A member must ensure any dogs which are tethered will be managed in accordance with the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act 1979 and Regulations. A pregnant bitch of more than 7 weeks gestation, whelping or lactating bitches with puppies or puppies under 16 weeks of age must not be tethered.
- A member must ensure that all dogs are transported in a safe and secure manner.
- A member shall ensure Veterinary care is provided as required.
- A member must take all appropriate lawful measures to assist a dog in distress.
- A member must ensure dogs owned by them or in their care are not a danger or nuisance to the community.
- A member must not participate in nor support any activity that involves cruelty or damage to animals, excluding legal hunting activities.
- A member must not train or work a dog beyond their willingness and capabilities. All training methods used shall be humane and not cause undue fear, distress or pain.
- A member shall ensure every effort is made to rehome any dog that they no longer require or are able to care for appropriately is rehomed in a suitable home.
- A member must ensure that euthanasia is carried out only by a veterinary practitioner, except in emergency situations.
- In emergency situations, euthanasia may only be carried out under the direction of a veterinary practitioner. Any method of emergency euthanasia must be humane.
Code of Practice NSW Breeders
- A member must have their primary focus on what is best for the dogs they own and breed and aim for the best outcomes for the future of that breed(s).
- A member must ensure quality of life for their dogs, and future generations by a planned process of selection over successive generations.
- A member must ensure that if breeding dogs are no longer suitable for breeding, or are retired and are to be rehomed, that the dog is prevented from further breeding by transfer to restricted registration, neutering, contraception, contract of agreement or other appropriate means.
- A member must not breed with a bitch unless she has reached adequate maturity and she is a minimum of 12 months of age, has had at least one prior oestrous cycle and without due consideration as to the wellbeing of the bitch and her offspring and she has passed a pre breeding health screen conducted by a veterinarian.
- Bitches must not have more than 2 litters in any 2 year period unless with the written approval of a veterinarian.
- A member should not breed with a male dog unless he has had a pre-breeding health check with a veterinary practitioner’s certificate.
- All members should ensure that all breeding dogs, both male and female, have a general health check by a veterinary practitioner at least once per year, or more frequently as directed by a veterinary practitioner and prior to their first mating.
- All members must have an agreement with one or more veterinary practitioners which describes arrangements for:
- The use of the veterinary practitioner’s facilities for the treatment of animals; the provision of isolation housing if the breeder does not have a separate isolation housing; and the supervision of animals in isolation who remain in the care of the breeder;
- Advice relating to the health management plan for the breeder if the MDBA Model Health Management Plan NSW for Breeders is not used;
- Provision of vaccination certificates for puppies being sold from the breeder;
- Provision of veterinary assistance for the breeder and the ability for the veterinarian to provide treatment and/or services to the breeder within 6 hours of notification that veterinary attention is required; and
- A 24 hour contact or treatment or provision of services through an alternative 24 hour veterinary or emergency practice.
- The contact details for the veterinary practitioner must be posted in a location which enables staff and visitors to the property to see them.
- Adopt MDBA’s Model Health Management Plan for Breeders or
- Develop their own written health management plan that has been formulated and is reviewed annually in consultation with a veterinary practitioner, and meets the requirements for compliance with the Animal Welfare Code of Practice Breeding Dogs and Cats.
- Permission in writing must be obtained from a dog’s owner, if leased, at the time of accepting the dog for breeding, authorising the provision of necessary veterinary treatment.
- A program for heartworm prevention must be in place and in accordance with veterinary advice.
- A member must ensure any bitches which are eight years of age and over at the time of a mating will have a current pre-breeding health veterinary certificate stating that the bitch is in good health at the time of breeding.
- A member shall take responsible action to reduce the incidence of hereditary diseases in accordance with the MDBA Code of Practice for Hereditary Diseases. A member must be honest and forthright in notifying the MDBA of any genetic or heritable diseases found to be in any dogs they have bred or own and inform other appropriate breeders to allow them to make informed choices in their breeding program.
- A member must ensure that within 7 days prior to her due date, a pregnant bitch is moved to a separate whelping housing area or provided with private accommodation containing a whelping box. The whelping box must be large enough for the bitch to lie comfortably while whelping and to accommodate the bitch and her puppies for the first 4 weeks after whelping.Whelping and lactating areas must be physically separate from all other animals and must be maintained at a temperature between 10C and 32C at all times.
- A member must ensure when dogs are mating, they are provided with an area physically isolated from all other dogs
- A member must not sell or otherwise transfer from their care any puppy under eight  weeks of age.
- A member must ensure that persons acquiring dogs from them understand the requirements for the care, welfare and responsible ownership of the dog, and ensure that the potential owner has the time and facilities, e.g. adequate fences, sufficient room and proper shelter, to fulfil their responsibilities.
- A member should maintain reasonable contact with the purchasers of their dogs and offer continued advice and assistance where possible.
- A member must create a record for each individual puppy born, and maintain this until ownership changes or the animal is deceased. Those records must be made available for inspection by an authorised officer or as directed by the MDBA. Copies of the records must be retained for a minimum of 3 years from date of last entry.
Records to be kept for puppies under 12 weeks of age must include the following:
- A copy of the MDBA litter registration form, or
- Dam and sire registered names and numbers and microchip numbers
- microchip number
- date of birth;
- colour and markings (if applicable); and
- health care history including vaccination records, internal and external parasite control,
- purchase/disposal record including name and address of new owner (where applicable),
- copy of health declaration, and
- Record of return (if applicable) with supporting documentation.
- A member must keep records for all dogs over the age of 12 weeks acquired or retained for the purpose of breeding which will include:
Either an MDBA registration certificate, or alternatively:
- registered name and number;
- Microchip number;
- Date of birth;
- colour and marking (if applicable); and
- Dam and sire registered name and number and microchip
- A council registration certificate;
- Health care history including vaccination records or titre tests, internal and external parasite control,
- breeding status and breeding history,
- Purchase/disposal records including name and address of new owner (where applicable), and record of return (if applicable) with supporting documentation.
- Records of breeding history for dams shall include:
- dates of mating or artificial insemination,
- Name and details including microchip number of male used
- dates of whelping,
- number of puppies born alive,
- number of puppies stillborn,
- record of any whelping complications and resultant treatment,
- microchip numbers for live pups at 8 weeks, and
- Post-partum veterinary treatment.
Code of Practice - Sales
- A member shall provide to all recipients of dogs that are sold or otherwise disposed of written details of:A member must not incorrectly describe nor knowingly misrepresent the characteristics of a breed.
- The breed characteristics;
- Vaccination record and / or requirements including the due date of the next vaccination or recommended timing for next titre;
- Responsible dog ownership informationwhich includes animal care, worming, feeding, housing, exercise, socialisation and training.
- All documentation required by the MDBA.
- Records on internal and external parasite control;
- Records of microchip number with a signed transfer of owner form;
- A desexing certificate (if applicable)
- A written health declaration.
- Procedures for emergency treatment during the guarantee period.
- A member must ensure that all dogs sold or disposed of are in the best possible state of health and must not knowingly allow any animal that is unwell to leave their care. Where any known physical abnormalities exist, a breeder health declaration shall be supplied which includes details of the known physical abnormality at the time of sale and how that abnormality may affect future health and welfare of the dog. This shall be signed in acknowledgement by the breeder, the Veterinarian and the new owner.
- Where a dog is returned to a member within 3 days of sale, for any reason not supported by a statement from a veterinary practitioner, the breeder must take back the animal and refund 50% of the purchase price.
- Where a dog is returned within 10 days of sale accompanied by a statement from a veterinary practitioner that the animal is unacceptable for health reasons, the member must take back the animal and refund 100% of the purchase price.
Code of Practice for Heritable Defect Management.
- When notified that an animal bred or owned by the member has been diagnosed by a veterinary practitioner to have a heritable disease/defect, or provided with reasonable evidence of a heritable disease/defect in such an animal, all breeding from the parents of this animal must stop until the following have been completed:
- Test the parents, if they are still breeding, where an acceptable test is available, or if a test is not available have the parents assessed by a veterinary practitioner for the defect and
- Test any existing offspring of those parents still currently residing with the breeder where an acceptable test is available.
- If one or both of the parents have the heritable defect, genetic counselling must be obtained from a veterinary practitioner prior to continuing to breed with those animals.
- If any offspring have the heritable defect, a sale or euthanasia plan must be developed in conjunction with a veterinary practitioner and all details about the heritable defect and likely outcomes for the animals and their owners must be fully disclosed to prospective purchasers.
- Any male and female animal who carry recessive genes for any heritable defect that causes a disease/defect must not be bred together.
- Provide the MDBA with any information of genetic or heritable disorders or diseases found to be in any dogs the member breeds or owns in order to gather data to help breeders make informed choices in their breeding programs.
If you believe that an MDBA Breeder Member has breached MDBA Rules, Codes or legislation in their area please send us an email.