This website is for use by legal professionals (lawyers and law practices) only. If the information is used incorrectly, you could risk losing money or your legal rights. If you are a member of the public looking for free advice about your legal problems please visit, or contact our Legal Help advice line on 1300 792 387, Monday to Friday from 8 am to 6 pm. 

If you decide to use or rely on the information or make decisions based on the information in this website (which VLA does not recommend) VLA is not liable to you or any third party in any way for any loss, damage, costs or expenses you or they may suffer or incur as a result.

Legislation relating to domestic animals

Links to the Act and regulations about domestic animals.

Domestic Animals Act 1994 (Vic)

This Act promotes animal welfare, responsible ownership of dogs and cats and for the protection of the environment.

It does this by:

  • providing a scheme to protect the environment form feral and nuisance animals
  • registration and identification schemes for dogs and cats
  • separate identification and control of dangerous dogs, menacing dogs and restricted breed dogs
  • regulation of animal businesses and boarding facilities for dogs and cats
  • regulation of permanent identificati on (such as micro-chipping) of animals, including horses.

See Domestic Animals Act 1994 (Vic).

Domestic Animals Regulations 2015 (Vic)

These Regulations prescribe:

  • requirements for dangerous and restricted breed dogs
  • matters relating to the permanent identification of dogs and cats
  • matters relating to applying for a domestic animals registry licence
  • matters relating to the provision of a domestic animals registry service
  • a scheme for dog obedience training for the purpose of obtaining a reduced registration fee
  • infringement penalties.

See Domestic Animals Regulations 2015 (Vic) .

Crimes Act 1958 (Vic)

This Act sets out the most serious offences and the maximum fine or term of imprisonment under Victorian law. Most of the offences in the Crimes Act are indictable offences. Indictable offences are usually those with a maximum penalty of 5 years jail, or more.

See Crimes Act 1958 (Vic)(opens in a new window).

Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal Act 1998 (Vic)

This Act established the tribunal commonly referred to as VCAT. This Tribunal provides a cheaper and less formal way of making and review decisions about particular matters that it has been given power to hear. These include residential tenancies, planning, accident compensation, discrimination and small claims.

See Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal Act 1998 (Vic)(opens in a new window).

Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act 1986 (Vic)

This Act prevents animal cruelty and aims to increase community awareness about the need for humane treatment of animals. It creates offences and penalties for animal cruelty.

See Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act 1986 (Vic).

Monetary Units Act 2004 (Vic)

This Act provides for changes to penalty units and fee units and their conversion to and from monetary amounts where authorised.

See Monetary Units Act 2004 (Vic)(opens in a new window).

Customs (Prohibited Imports) Regulations 1956 (Cth)

This Act lists the items that are prohibited from being imported into Australia, such as restricted breed dogs and some weapons.

See Customs (Prohibited Imports) Regulations 1956 (Cth) .

Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Regulations 2019 (Vic)

These Regulations prescribe:

  • the sorts of procedures that are able to be conducted on animals
  • the kinds of devices that may be used
  • regulates the methods of capture
  • regulates methods of transport and housing
  • sets out infringement penalties for offences against the Act
  • prescribes forms and fees.

See Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Regulations 2019 (Vic)(opens in a new window).

Environment Protection Act 1970 (Vic)

This Act creates a legislative framework for the protection of the environment in Victoria. It prevents pollution and environmental damage by setting environmental quality objectives and establishing programs to meet them.

See Environment Protection Act 1970 (Vic).