Animal welfare licences and approvals

The Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Regulations 2019 (POCTA Regulations) contain a number of provisions where the approval of the Minister for Agriculture (the Minister) is required before certain activities can be conducted or which require a licence to conduct.

The activities covered by these provisions are listed below with information on who may be eligible to apply, how to access application documents, and any fees that may be applicable.

Application forms, and associated guidance documentation, can be requested by contacting: animal.welfare@agriculture.vic.gov.au

Fee units are a prescribed amount. In 2020 a fee unit was equal to $14.81.

Use of electronic devices for therapeutic purposes on animals (Regulation 15)

The POCTA Regulations prevent a person using or placing on any animal a device that is capable of imparting, or is designed to impart, an electric current or shock unless the device is permitted under the Regulations. Regulation 15 enables the Minister to issue an approval for the use of electronic devices on animals for therapeutic purposes.

When making an application for approval of an electronic device for therapeutic purposes, applicants will be required to provide contact information, and details about the device, including:

  • evidence of the therapeutic effect
  • how it will be used
  • the conditions that will be treated
  • the species of animals that can be treated, and;
  • the levels of competency, or training, that might be required of users.

Applicants may be a natural person or a body corporate. An application for approval must meet the criteria prescribed in the POCTA Regulations and must be accompanied by the prescribed fee of 30 Fee Units.

Setting or use of leghold traps in urban areas (Regulation 39)

Regulation 39 enables the Minister to approve the use of soft jawed leghold traps in urban areas for rabbits, foxes and wild dogs. The features of permitted leghold traps must comply with the requirements of the POCTA Regulations.

When making an application for approval to use leghold traps in urban areas, applicants will be required to provide information about their skills and experience in leghold trapping and details of their operating procedures that are relevant to minimising non-target captures.

Applicants will also be required to provide information on how they will manage any captured non-target species including wildlife, domestic animals, or another species normally kept in captivity.

Applicants can be a natural person, a business or other entity (e.g. municipal council). An application for approval must meet the criteria prescribed in the POCTA Regulations and must be accompanied by the prescribed fee of 23 Fee Units.

An approval for the setting and use of leghold traps in urban areas may be valid for a period specified in the approval but must not exceed 3 years from the date of approval.

More information on the use of leghold traps, including a definition of urban area.

Setting or use of leghold traps for declared feral cats (Regulation 40)

The POCTA Regulations enable the Minister to approve the setting or use of leghold traps for feral cats but only on specified Crown land where the feral cat declaration applies. The use of leghold traps for feral cats will only be permitted where it can be demonstrated that eradication is feasible, and use is necessary to facilitate successful eradication of a localised population to remove the need for an ongoing control program at that location.

Applications will be considered if they are:

  • from an agency responsible for managing areas of Crown land to which the feral cat declaration applies
  • for use of leghold traps for feral cats as part of an eradication program on specified Crown land
  • in the form approved by the Minister.

An approval for the setting and use of large leghold traps for declared feral cats may be valid for a period specified in the approval but must not exceed 12 months from the date of approval.

Setting or use of non-kill snares (Regulation 53)

Regulation 53 of the POCTA Regulations allows the Minister to grant approval to set or use a non-kill snare to trap an animal that is an established pest animal, or an animal of another species determined by the Minister.

When making an application to set or use a non-kill snare applicants will be required to provide information about the necessity for the use of a non-kill snare, the type of non-kill snare to be used, the location of use, and the target species. Applicants will be required to describe information relevant to their processes and procedures, including how they will humanely manage, both, target species and captured non-target species.

Applicants can be a natural person, a business or other entity (e.g. municipal council). An application for approval must meet the criteria prescribed in the POCTA Regulations and must be accompanied by the prescribed fee of 23 Fee Units.

An approval for the setting and use of non-kill snares may be valid for a period specified in the approval but must not exceed 3 years from the date of approval.

Setting or use of kill traps (Regulation 61)

Regulation 61 of the POCTA Regulations allows the Minister to grant approval to set or use a kill trap for trapping an animal that is an established pest animal, or an animal of another species determined by the Minister.

When making an application to set or use a kill trap applicants will be required to provide information about  the necessity for the use of a kill trap, the species upon which it is to be used, and any information relevant to the processes and procedures as part of the trapping program.

Applicants can be a natural person, a business or other entity (e.g. municipal council). An application for approval must meet the criteria prescribed in the POCTA Regulations and must be accompanied by the prescribed fee of 23 Fee Units.

An approval for the setting and use of kill traps may be valid for a period specified in the approval but must not exceed 3 years from the date of approval.

Setting or use of lethal trap devices (Regulation 64)

Regulation 64 of the POCTA Regulations allows the Minister to grant approval to set or use a lethal trap device on a trap.

When making an application to set or use a lethal trap device on a trap an applicant will be required to specify the lethal agent to be used, its efficacy and the type of trap to which it will be applied.

Applicants can be a natural person, a business or other entity (e.g. municipal council). An application for approval must meet the criteria prescribed in the POCTA Regulations and must be accompanied by the prescribed fee of 23 Fee Units.

An approval for the setting and use of lethal trap devices may be valid for a period specified in the approval but must not exceed 3 years from the date of approval.

Approval process for managing domestic dogs, cats and other species caught in traps in unincorporated areas (Regulation 67)

An unincorporated area is an area not governed by local council and, in the absence of council domestic animal services, is responsible for its own domestic animal management arrangements. In Victoria the definition of an unincorporated area covers:

  • French Island
  • Sandstone Island (incorporating Elizabeth Island)
  • Gabo Island
  • Lady Julia Percy Island or
  • an alpine resort with the meaning of the Alpine Resorts (Management) Act 1997.

Regulation 67 of the POCTA Regulations enables an unincorporated area to either:

  • make an agreement with a pound or shelter to manage any domestic animals captured or
  • apply to the Minister to approve a process to manage a domestic dog, cat or other species normally kept in captivity that has been caught in a trap in unincorporated areas.

Applicant organisations must demonstrate their capacity to manage risks to animal welfare under such circumstances. Approved processes will need to demonstrate that appropriate procedures are in place to identify, care for and dispose (rehouse or if necessary euthanise) captured domestic animals that would meet the requirements placed on other organisations managing stray animals under the Domestic Animals Act 1994.

Applications will be limited to Land Managers of unincorporated areas.

There are no prescribed fees for this application.

Licences and permits available under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals 2019

Rodeos

  • Application for a rodeo licence
  • Application for an individual rodeo or rodeo school permit
  • Approval of a rodeo organisation

Access information on rodeo licences and permits.

Scientific procedures

Licensing to use animals in research or teaching

Comprehensive information is available on licensing to use animals in research or teaching.

Page last updated: 24 Aug 2021