Overview of registration, legislation and permits

In Victoria, domestic animal legislation aims to:

  • encourage responsible pet ownership
  • protect the welfare of pets
  • ensure pets don't become a nuisance in the community.

The department is responsible for overseeing the development of this legislation, along with associated regulations and codes of practice. The legislation is implemented by local councils and gives them the power to manage dogs and cats living within their boundaries.

All pet owners in Victoria should familiarise themselves with:

Owners may be surprised to learn of the many advantages of pet registration and wide range of programs and services that their fees provide.

Stakeholders in the Victorian pet industry must familiarise themselves with legislation relating to:

Find out more about pets in Victoria:

  • Foster care
    Many shelters, and some pounds, set up foster care agreements with willing members of the community. Foster care is regulated under the Domestic Animals Act 1994.
  • Animal welfare
    Read more about the definition of animal welfare, and why anyone who has contact with animals has a responsibility to protect their welfare.
  • Domestic animal businesses
    Read about the laws that cover the operation of pet shops, pounds and shelters, and pet breeding, boarding and training establishments.
  • Improving the enforcement of animal cruelty laws
    More powers for RSPCA authorised officers and proposed changes to the Domestic Animals Act.
  • Teaching using animals
    The law requires all use of animals in scientific teaching to be approved by an independent committee called an Animal Ethics Committee.
Page last updated: 10 Jan 2022