New Technology To Strengthen Pet Register

Victorians looking for a new furry friend for their home can be more confident of where their pet has come from, thanks to new technology improving the Victorian Government’s Pet Exchange Register.

The Government has made Application Programming Interface (API) technology available to classifieds websites, enabling them to automatically verify whether a source number is genuine and valid, before publishing an advertisement.

Websites that employ the technology will only allow a valid source number to be published, building on their legal obligation – introduced as part of the Labor Government’s landmark laws to crack down on puppy farms – to ensure that a source number is listed in every advertisement offering a dog or cat for sale or give-away.

Like the street address verification technology used by hundreds of websites, the new Pet Exchange Register API is yet another tool to crack down on illegal puppy farms and kitten breeders and break their business model.

This complements a new requirement that dogs and cats born after 1 July 2020 must have the source number of their breeder – or the source number of the council pound, animal shelter or foster carer that owns the animal – included on their microchip application form. This enables our beloved pets to be traced throughout their lifetime.

If you advertise a puppy, kitten, dog or cat for sale or to give away in Victoria, a source number from the Pet Exchange Register is needed. This number must be displayed on all advertisements, along with each individual animal’s microchip number.

Since the launch of the Pet Exchange Register just over 12 months ago, Animal Welfare Victoria has issued over 11,000 source numbers and has recently introduced a new user category for rescue organisations and community foster care networks who self-enrol on the Pet Exchange Register.

Acknowledging the impacts of the coronavirus pandemic, the Government has also waived the annual fee to enrol or renew on the Pet Exchange Register until 1 July 2021.

Before purchasing a dog or cat, Victorians should check the source number listed in the advertisement and report any non-compliant advertisements by visiting

Quotes attributable to Minister for Agriculture Jaclyn Symes

“While we know most people do the right thing, we need to keep working to ensure illegal puppy farmers and kitten breeders are not operating in Victoria.”

“We’re proud to have made significant improvements to how our pets are bred – this technology will help to give people confidence that they are buying or adopting their new furry friend from a legitimate source.”