New animal welfare Act for Victoria

The Victorian Government has committed to modernising Victoria’s key animal welfare legislation.

A Directions Paper outlining high-level policy proposals for a new animal welfare Act has been released for public feedback.

The new Act would replace the current Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act 1986.

The proposals for the new Act aim to achieve three key objectives:

  • Improve the safeguarding of animal welfare – such as by setting minimum standards of care for animals in Victorian legislation for the first time.
  • Provide a simplified and flexible legislative framework – making it easier for people to understand how animals must be treated and to enable the law to be more easily adapted in response to developments in animal science, industry practices and technologies, and changing expectations for animal welfare.
  • Provide a better compliance and enforcement model – to enable earlier intervention to better safeguard animal welfare as well as more effective options to respond when people don’t treat animals as they should.

Have your say on the proposals for the new animal welfare Act

Feedback was sought on the directions paper which will inform and influence the development of a draft Bill (the draft text of an Act before it is debated and passed in parliament) for a new animal welfare Act. Submissions closed on Monday 14 December 2020.

The directions paper and further information about the proposed reforms are available from Engage Victoria.

There will be more opportunities to get involved and have your say as work progresses, including to develop Regulations and other instruments to support the new Act.

More information

Contact the Legislation Reform Team at

Page last updated: 28 Jan 2021