Welcome to Responsible Pet Breeders Australia
Responsible Pet Breeders Australia was founded in 2018 on the principle that all dog and cat breeders and owners should have a platform to share their voice and ensure the well being of cats and dogs, to be treated ethically, with love and care, regardless of whether they are purebred or not.
Other organisations such as state kennel clubs only monitor breeds with long pedigrees, especially for competition conformation, but we recognise that these rules do not guarantee the health and suitability of most pets for most pet owners nationwide.
The RPBA goal is that all dogs and cats should find the right suitable loving family home.
Whether they are purebred or not, after all, not all animals are pedigree across Australia.
We believe that non-pedigree breeders should follow the same level of care and consideration, and so the RPBA has been formed to provide guidelines, code of ethics and standards and recognition to all breeders, not just the ones with pedigrees.
The aim of our site is to ensure the absolute best conditions/upbringing for all dogs and cats that are bred and sold, for the welfare of the animals and new owners alike.
In order to be an RPBA member, breeders must uphold strict ethical guidelines, as outlined below. These requirements may be updated at any time, especially in response to new developments in pet care and breeding. Where members must continue to develop and sustain their practices accordingly.
Our Code of Ethics and Membership Requirements:
- Members shall read and agree to abide by the standards set out by the below.
- Members will understand and abide by any legal obligations that they have relating to dog or cat breeding within their state or territory.
- To become a full member, a practising veterinarian must audit the breeder’s property within three months at the end of the RPBA probationary members 12-month status, in order to ensure that the owner has taken all steps necessary to provide for their animals’ welfare and are following the code of ethics and standards.
Further Husbandry Requirements:
- Animals must be kept under effective control at all times, for their own safety and for the safety of the neighbourhood.
- Animals must be fed a complete, premium diet appropriate for their life stage as outlined.
- Animals must come microchipped.
- Animals must come with first vaccinations and be up to date with worming/parasite treatment in order to keep them free from common infectious diseases and internal and external parasites. This applies to breeding parents, and the puppies and kittens available for sale.
- Members must seek veterinary care immediately for any animals showing symptoms of a disease and must consult with their primary veterinarian throughout the breeding process.
- Members shall not house their animals in cages for any reason other than transport, breeding or treatment of illnesses (only if advised/approved by vet).
- Puppies and kittens must be appropriately socialised, as outlined in the RPBA manual.
- Animals must spend the majority of their lives in communal runs, have access to natural lighting/ventilation, whereas cages may only be employed for transport, safety during recovery from disease or injury, and closely-monitored crate-training (only if advised/approved by vet).
- Retired breeding dogs must be desexed and either rehomed or kept as pets.
- In the event that euthanasia is both necessary and humane (including cases of dangerous and intractable behaviours that preclude rehoming, where all other options have been exhausted, or chronically painful or life-threatening conditions that eliminate the reasonable probability of the animal having sufficient ongoing quality of life), the procedure must be performed by a qualified veterinarian and a detailed explanation must be provided.
- Members may house breeding dogs in foster homes. Those homes are subject to the same process of approval by a veterinarian at the end of the probationary period and breeders retain all responsibilities for animal care and welfare (including rehoming them, if necessary, upon retirement), as well as responsibility for the sale of puppies and kittens conforming with the RPBA’s code of ethics. It’s recommended that a foster care contract outlining the various responsibilities of the foster family and owner is provided, although the ultimate responsibility of the RPBA’s code of ethics remains with the owner.
Sale of Puppies and Kittens:
- Kittens and puppies may be sold and rehomed only after 8 weeks of age. They must have had their 6-week first vaccination.
- Kittens and puppies may only be sold to RPBA-audited pet stores, or stores that are members of Pet Industry Association of Australia, never at shows or fairs.
- RPBA members are forbidden from acting as brokers or retailers unless the kittens or puppies are sourced from RPBA members. Disclosure to the RPBA is required.
- Sale of kittens and puppies cannot be made to children under the age of 16.
- All advertisements for dogs and cats for sale must include the animal’s microchip number and vaccination status.
- RPBA members shall honestly and accurately describe the upbringing/breeding of their kittens or puppies to prospective owners.
- Breeders must ask potential owners the following questions and be satisfied to a reasonable degree by the answers from prospective buyers that the animals’ welfare will not be compromised:
- How long has it been since you decided to buy a puppy/kitten, and what preparation have you undertaken?
- Do you live in a house with grass, and is your property fully fenced? What sort of housing do you have for the puppy or kitten?
- What made you choose this particular breed?
- Are you fully aware of the life expectancy, ongoing cost expectations, and dietary/housing/exercise/health/training needs of a puppy or kitten?
- Do you have other pets, and are they up-to-date with their vaccinations and parasite prevention?
- Do you have pet insurance, or will you set aside savings for the unfortunate event of disease or injury in your pet’s future?
- Breeders must provide new and potential owners with comprehensive general information regarding feeding, veterinary care and training of their animal. These fact sheets must include at lease the below:
- General care requirements of the species, including appropriate diet and feeding regimes and expected costs
- The usual lifespan of the breed/species
- The minimum and recommended requirements for humane and secure shelter and accommodation, as well as common-sense advice in this area (e.g. maximum time an animal can be left unattended, shelter from the sun and water requirements during summer, etc.)
- The minimum and recommended requirements for social contact with humans and other animals of the same species, as well as recommended types and levels of exercise
- The minimum and recommended requirements for the prevention and control of common diseases, parasites, behavioural conditions and emergencies, both in general and in relation to the particular species or breed, and advice on identifying and managing or responding to such events
- Relevant information about the legal requirements for pet ownership in your state or area
- Any other information that the purchaser must reasonably be made aware of
- Upon the sale of a puppy or kitten, RPBA members must agree to provide a three-day‘ cooling off’ period, in which the animal may be returned and refunded for any reason. (This may exclude any previously agreed upon non-refundable deposit of up to 25%, and any transport costs involved in the sale).
- A post-sale agreement outlining all health tests completed by a veterinarian must be provided at the time of sale, including information on other unpreventable and/or untestable conditions, and for which conditions refunds will be offered.
- Expenses for the treatment of preventable genetic and/or health problems present from birth that arise in the first 12 months of the dog or cat’s life are the sole responsibility of the RPBA-approved breeder, up to the price of the animal. This also includes costs and veterinary care associated with any diseases or injuries present at the time of sale. Breeders must cover these costs up to the price of the animal, or take back the animal and offer a full refund (as well as taking responsibility for re-homing the animal), or replace the animal with a healthy individual.
- RPBA members are solely responsible for rehoming any animal that they have bred at any stage during the animal’s lifetime, for any reason, should the animal be rendered homeless. The RPBA is happy to assist when possible.
Please note: New owners are advised to contact the RPBA if they believe an RPBA member has breached our Code of Ethics and Standards at any point.
State Legislation Resources
- NSW Animal Services – Companion Animals Act 1998
- Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act 1979 No 200
- Animal Welfare Code of Practice Breeding Dogs & Cats
Why choose RPBA Members?
Members that care about the well-being and future home of their animals. They are responsible and follow ethical practices.
Vet Approved Breeders:
Once members complete 12 months probationary membership, they can then apply for a full membership, where they are checked and audited by Veterinarian. Once they pass these and the below requirements they are approved.
Best In Class Dog Welfare & Care:
Full members must have a solid understanding of best practices, breeding code of ethics and how to care and bring up their animals. Animals must be fed premium diets for their welfare and future health.