Vic Animal Welfare Legislation


Victoria's Animal Welfare Acts are managed by the Department of Economic Development, Jobs, Transport and Resources. Visit their website for more information about their responsibilities.

Please familiarise yourself with the laws relevant to your state. In particular, note the rules governing the minimum holding times for animals that can end up in pounds.

DOMESTIC ANIMALS ACT 1994

Part 7A, Division 5, Section 84M - Recovery of dog or cat

  1. A person may recover a dog or cat retained by a Council, a person or a body, which has been seized under section 23(1), 82, 83, 84, 84A, 84B or 84C and in respect of which the Council has decided not to retain custody, if within 8 days (or 14 days in the case of an abandoned animal) of the seizure-
    1. the person pays the amount fixed by the Council or charged by the person or body for the reasonable costs and expenses incurred by the Council, person or body in seizing the animal and retaining custody of it until its recovery; and
    2. the person proves to the satisfaction of the Council or person or body that he or she is the owner of the animal or the agent of that owner; and
    3. the owner has complied with any requirements of this Act or the regulations placed on the owner with respect to that animal.

Part 7A, Division 6, Section 84O - Power to sell or destroy dogs or cats seized under this Part

  1. The Council or person or body holding a cat seized under this Part may destroy the cat as soon as possible after its seizure if-
    1. the cat does not bear an identification marker or a permanent identification device; and
    2. the cat is wild, uncontrollable or diseased.
  1. If the owner of a dog or cat (other than a dangerous dog or a restricted breed dog) seized under this Part is entitled to recover the animal under Division 5 and does not recover the animal in accordance with that Division within the period provided for recovery, the Council or person or body retaining custody of the animal must sell or destroy the animal as soon as possible after the expiry of that period in accordance with any relevant Code of Practice made under section 59.

Part 7A, Division 6, Section 84P - Further power to destroy dogs

The Council may destroy a dog which has been seized under this Part at any time after its seizure if-

  1. the dog is a dangerous dog or a restricted breed dog that is able to be registered or have its registration renewed under this Act and if-
    1. the Council has made a decision to refuse to register or renew the registration of the dog;

Part 7A, Division 6, Section 84S - Council may destroy animals of non-identified dog owners suspected of committing an offence

If an authorised officer reasonably suspects that an owner of a dog seized under this Part has committed an offence set out in paragraph (a), (b) or (c)of section 84Q(2) the Council may destroy the dog-

  1. if the owner of the dog does not provide the Council with the owner's current address within 14 days after being served with a notice of seizure requiring that address to be provided, at any time after the expiry of that 14 day period; or
  2. within 8 days after the dog was seized if-
    1. the owner of the dog is unable to be identified from a marker attached to, or a device implanted in, the dog's body; and
    2. the Council has not received sufficient information about the owner to enable it to identify the owner.

Part 7A, Division 6, Section 84V - Method of disposal of dogs or cats

  1. A Council, person or body that is authorised under this Act to sell or destroy an animal may give that animal to any person or body that is willing to accept it and which has been approved by the Council of the municipal district in which the animal is held in accordance with a Code of Practice made under section 7 of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act 1986 relating to the use of such an animal in scientific procedures.
Ban duck shooting.