New laws and changes to the Dog Act 1976 passed through Parliament

Published on Thursday, 23 December 2021 at 11:27:13 AM

Changes to the Dog Act 1976 have recently passed through Parliament, giving local governments the tools to deal with irresponsible dog breeders and encourage responsible dog ownership through public awareness.

Previously, dog breeding was unregulated in Western Australia. This resulted in some dog breeders disguising their operations to avoid detection by authorities while continuing to breed in an irresponsible manner.

The passing of the Dog Amendment (Stop Puppy Farming) Bill 2021 will allow the following changes to be implemented:

  • All dogs to be de-sexed by the age of 2 years, unless they are exempted, to prevent unplanned breeding or over breeding.
  • Information on dogs (and cats) to be held in a centralised registration system to allow information to be shared across the State.
  • People who wish to breed from their dog will need to apply for an approval to breed, enabling breeders to be traced.
  • Pet shops that sell dogs to work with rescue organisations to transition to adoption centres which will provide more adoption opportunities for unwanted dogs.
  • Muzzling requirements for pet or retired racing greyhounds when in public places to be removed, making greyhounds more desirable as pets. Greyhounds will still be required to be kept on a lead in public areas. Registered racing greyhounds will continue to be required to wear muzzles in all public places.

These changes will increase the transparency of the source of dogs, prevent irresponsible breeders from breeding dogs, improve community understanding about the responsible purchase and care of dogs, and enhance the ability of authorities to identify and detect puppy farms.

Many of these legislative changes will take time to implement as they require the procurement and development of a Centralised Registration System, as well as regulations.

More information about the new laws can be found via

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