Topics > Plants & animals

Animal welfare

Animals are fundamental to Australia's history and development. They are a source of companionship, food, fibre and other products.

Scientific studies show that inadequate welfare standards compromise the growth, reproduction and survival of animals. It is the personal responsibility of anyone who interacts with animals to make sure they are treated decently and appropriately.

In South Australia, the Animal Welfare portfolio is administered by the Minister for Sustainability, Environment and Conservation. Animal welfare crosses all government agencies and covers all animals, whether they are native, feral, owned or wild.

The department administers the Animal Welfare Act 1985 (the Act) and provides advice to the state government, non government organisations and the general public on the Act and animal welfare issues in general.

Breeding and trading companion animals

The South Australian Standards and Guidelines for Breeding and Trading Companion Animals are regulated under the Animal Welfare Regulations 2012. The Standards are compulsory and set minimum health and welfare requirements that must be met by anyone who breeds or trades companion animals including:

  • pet shops
  • shelters
  • dog and cat breeders
  • anyone who sells companion animals from venues such as markets or shows.

The Guidelines are not compulsory – they are recommendations only.

Download the Standards and Guidelines and/or work through a decision tree to see which of the Standards apply to you. For further information read the Frequently Asked Questions fact sheet.

South Australian Oiled Wildlife Response Plan (SAOWRP)

The South Australian Oiled Wildlife Response Plan (SAOWRP) provides guidance to the Department for Environment and Water (DEW) as the Oiled Wildlife Response Agency on the management of an Oiled Wildlife Marine Pollution Incident in South Australia.