business mobile

Putting an end to the business of cruelty.

Intensive Breeding Taskforce

An intensive breeding facility is an inhumane high-volume animal breeding operation that churns out animals for profit, ignoring the needs of those babies and their mothers (also known as puppy factories or puppy farms). Animals from these facilities are often sick and unsocialized. They are frequently sold through online classified ads, social media, and in pet stores. Responsible breeders, however, will be happy to meet you in person and show you where the animal was born and raised—and where their mum lives too. The prevalence of intensive breeding facilities and the poor welfare for the animals therein, is only increasing.

Each week RSPCA NSW receive more than five cruelty reports relating to non-compliant breeders – more than double last year. Despite the existence of state breeding codes since 2009, the minimum regulations are regularly ignored by irresponsible breeders, at the expense of the animals.

RSPCA NSW’s Intensive Breeding Taskforce (IBTF) has been established to address these concerns. The IBTF is a dedicated unit that investigates reports of inadequate conditions and standards at large scale breeding facilities. We’ve identified nearly 900 such facilities in NSW, and the goal of the IBTF is to inspect each and ensure no animals continues to suffer. The team also works closely with breeders to provide advice and information and help prevent offences from occurring in the first place.

We all love animals. And we know they deserve love and care throughout their lives – from day one. Support the Intensive Breeding Taskforce and you can put an end to these illegal practices that harm animals. You can be their hero.

legal feature

Support the IBTF today

You can put an end to these illegal practices that harm animals. You can be their hero.

123 a feature community groups mobile

Want help finding a responsible breeder?

Do the research and make sure you are not supporting an intensive breeding facility.


In NSW, intensive breeding facilities, or puppy factories, are not explicitly illegal. However, the conditions in which we commonly see the animals being kept, bred and sold in these facilities, is illegal. The Animal Welfare Code of Practice – Breeding Dogs and Cats determines what is and is not ‘illegal’ in NSW. The Code sets standards for the care and management of breeding dogs and cats, including standards for housing, environment, security, animal management, food and water, cleaning and disinfection, transport, health and care, transfer of ownership, and breeding. Currently, there are no limitations on the number of animals or the number of litters that can be sold in NSW.

Failure to meet Code standards may result in our inspectors issuing one or more of the following:

  • A Section 24N Written Direction
  • An Infringement Notice (PIN)
  • An Official Caution

In serious cases, failure to meet minimum standards may result in a prosecution under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act (1979). In this scenario, animals may be seized, and Court Attendance Notices may be issued.

Intensive breeding facilities are not illegal to operate and the reality is that many pets were bred in these kinds of places. However, if you are worried that your pet has health issues relating to how they were bred, it’s worth having a conversation with your veterinarian. If you would like to make a report or provide a tip off about the breeding facility, you can do so here.

In NSW, it is not illegal for breeders to sell animals to pet shops for sale to the public. The sale of animals in pet shops falls under the Animal Welfare Code of Practice – Animals in pet shops, and pet shops must comply with the requirements outlined in that Code at all times. If you are worried that a pet shop is not meeting the Code, please report it to us here so we can investigate.

While the internet is a great way to research and look for your new best friend, you need to be extremely cautious when buying a pet online. If you aren’t able to meet the breeder or animal in person before purchasing, we would suggest asking to have a video call with the breeder so you can see the animal, the housing conditions and ask any questions.