Victoria Australia Cat Animal Welfare Protection


Feral cat Australia
Feral cat Australia – someone cares about him. Most are not so lucky
Photo by alexanderino
 

Contents

Comment – Intro

PREVENTION OF CRUELTY TO ANIMALS ACT 1986 (as amended)


DOMESTIC (FERAL AND NUISANCE) ANIMALS ACT 1994

Penalty units – meaning
Copyright

 
 

Introduction

Victoria Australia Cat Animal Welfare Protection includes more than an Act making animal cruelty a crime. There is also an act (of 1994 – some time ago), which is designed to get a handle on the feral cat and dog problem. I am not sure if this is the first of its kind but such legislation is certainly very rare indeed. It is called the DOMESTIC (FERAL AND NUISANCE) ANIMALS ACT 1994. It is in part reproduced here as it is very much concerned with my area of interest, cat welfare. The reason why this Act is concerned with more than human amenity is perhaps obvious.

Feral cats live a tough life and die young. They are also generally (but not by individuals concerned with their welfare) persecuted. A lot of people in Australia, it seems, don’t like feral cats. They believe that they kill native wildlife at a high rate. There is no hard evidence of this however.

The DOMESTIC (FERAL AND NUISANCE) ANIMALS ACT 1994 wisely tackles the root cause of feral cats – irresponsible behavior by people. This is to be highly commended. The Act is quite involved and only parts of it are reproduced as an overview. See the whole Act here. I hope the Australian state of Victoria is also controlling and reducing the feral cat population wisely and humanely as well.

The Act concerned with animal cruelty is the PREVENTION OF CRUELTY TO ANIMALS ACT 1986 (as amended). Note: legislation changes. The information presented here is I believe accurate as at Nov. 2008. Please check.

Victoria Australia Cat Animal Welfare Protection

PREVENTION OF CRUELTY TO ANIMALS ACT 1986 (as amended)

Selected sections only are reproduced as this website is concerned with cat welfare and significant parts of the Act deal with other areas. Also this webpage is intended to give an overview. Legal advice should be sought where necessary.

Section 1. Purpose..

The purpose of this Act is to- (a) prevent cruelty to animals; and (b) to encourage the considerate treatment of animals; and (c) to improve the level of community awareness about the prevention of cruelty to animals.

Section 9. Cruelty

(1) A person who- 

(a) wounds, mutilates, tortures, overrides, overdrives, overworks, abuses, beats, worries, torments or terrifies an animal; 

or (b) loads, crowds or confines an animal where the loading, crowding or confinement of the animal causes, or is likely to cause, unreasonable pain or suffering to the animal; 

or (c) does or omits to do an act with the result that unreasonable pain or suffering is caused, or is likely to be caused, to an animal; 

or (d) drives, conveys, carries or packs an animal in a manner or position or in circumstances which subjects or subject, or is likely to subject, it to unnecessary pain or suffering; 

or (e) works, rides, drives or uses an animal when it is unfit for the purpose with the result that unreasonable pain or suffering is caused to an animal; 

or (f) is the owner or the person in charge of an animal which is confined or otherwise unable to provide for itself and fails to provide the animal with proper and sufficient food, drink or shelter; 

or (g) sells, offers for sale, purchases, drives or conveys a calf, which appears to be unfit because of weakness, to be sold or purchased or to be driven or conveyed to its intended destination; 

or (h) abandons an animal of a species usually kept in a state of confinement or for a domestic purpose; 

or (i) is the owner or the person in charge of a sick or injured animal and unreasonably fails to provide veterinary or other appropriate attention or treatment for the animal; 

or (j) other than in accordance with the Catchment and Land Protection Act 1994, the Wildlife Act 1975 or the Drugs, Poisons and Controlled Substances Act 1981, intentionally administers to an animal or lays a bait for the animal containing- (i) a poison; 

or (ii) any other substance which, when administered to that type of animal, has a harmful effect on the animal; or (k) uses spurs with sharpened rowels on an animal; 

or (l) carries out a prohibited procedure on an animal

commits an act of cruelty upon that animal and is guilty of an offence and is liable to a penalty of not more than, in the case of a natural person, 120 penalty units or imprisonment for 12 months or, in the case of a body corporate, 600 penalty units. 

(2) It is a defence to a charge under subsection (1) against an owner of an animal to prove that, at the time of the alleged offence, the owner had entered into an agreement with another person by which the other person agreed to care for the animal.

Victoria Australia Cat Animal Welfare Protection
Section 10. Aggravated cruelty

(1) A person who commits an act of cruelty upon any animal which results in the death or serious disablement of the animal commits an act of aggravated cruelty upon that animal and is guilty of an offence and is liable to a penalty of not more than, in the case of a natural person, 240 penalty units or imprisonment for 2 years or, in the case of a body corporate, 1200 penalty units.

(2) A person who is guilty of an offence under subsection (1) may be liable to the penalty for that offence in addition to or instead of any other penalty to which the person is liable under section 9.

Section 11. Defence to cruelty or aggravated cruelty

In any proceedings against a person in relation to an act of cruelty under section 9, or an act of aggravated cruelty under section 10, it is a defence if the person- (a) acted reasonably; or (b) reasonably omitted to do an act- in defending himself or herself or any other person against an animal or against any threat of attack by an animal.

Victoria Australia Cat Animal Welfare Protection
12. Serious offences 

(1) If a person has been convicted of one or more offences under this Act and a court considers that the offence or offences is or are of a serious nature, the court may, in addition to or instead of any other penalty, order- (a) that the person be disqualified for the period (not exceeding 10 years) specified in the order, from being a person in charge of an animal of a kind or class specified in the order; or (b) that the conditions, specified in the order, apply for the period specified in the order to the person whenever the person is a person in charge of an animal.

Victoria Australia Cat Animal Welfare Protection

DOMESTIC (FERAL AND NUISANCE) ANIMALS ACT 1994

Section 1. Purpose

The purpose of this Act is to promote animal welfare, the responsible ownership of dogs and cats and the protection of the environment by providing for-

(a) a scheme to protect the community and the environment from feral and nuisance dogs and cats; and

(b) a registration and identification scheme for dogs and cats which recognises and promotes responsible ownership; and

(c) the identification and control of dangerous dogs, menacing dogs and restricted breed dogs; and

(d) a registration scheme for domestic animal businesses which promotes the maintenance of standards of those businesses; and

(e) matters related to the boarding of dogs and cats; and

(ea) the regulation of the permanent identification of dogs, cats, horses and other animals; and

(f) payments to the Treasurer from fees received by Councils under this Act; and

(g) other related matters.

Section 10. Requirement to apply for registration 

(1) The owner of a dog or cat must apply to register that dog or cat with the Council of the municipal district in which the dog or cat is kept, if the animal is over 3 months old. Penalty: 10 penalty units. 

(2) The owner of a dog or cat which is registered must apply for renewal of the registration of that dog or cat with the Council of the municipal district in which the dog or cat is kept, before the expiration of the current registration. Penalty: 10 penalty units. 

(3) If a person is making an application under subsection (1) in relation to a dog, that person must include with the application a declaration as to whether or not the dog in respect of which the application is made is a restricted breed dog. Penalty: 10 penalty units.

Victoria Australia Cat Animal Welfare Protection

Section 10A. Council may refuse to register dogs and cats unless desexed

(1) A Council may resolve that it will not, after a specified future date, register or renew the registration of a dog or cat unless the dog or cat

  • (a) is desexed; or
  • (b) is exempted under this Act from any requirement to be desexed.

(2) A Council may resolve to amend or revoke any resolution made under this section. 

(3) If a Council makes a resolution under this section

  • (a) it must cause a copy of the resolution to be published in the Government Gazette and in a newspaper circulating in the municipal district of the Council; and
  • (b) it must give effect to the resolution.

subsection 4 ommitted.
Victoria Australia Cat Animal Welfare Protection

Section 10B. Dogs and cats that are exempt from desexing

(1) The following dogs and cats do not have to be desexed to be registered or to have their registration renewed by a Council

  • (a) a dog or cat that is owned by a person or body that conducts a domestic animal business under which dogs or cats are bred and the dog or cat is used for breeding purposes in connection with that business;
  • (b) a dog or cat that is owned by a person who is a current member of an applicable organisation and the animal is registered with that organisation;
  • (c) a dangerous dog that is kept as a guard dog for non-residential premises;
  • (d) a dangerous dog that has undergone protection training in accordance with any relevant Code of Practice made under section 59;
  • (e) a dog or cat that is the subject of written veterinary advice that the health of the dog or cat is liable to be significantly prejudiced if it is desexed;
  • (f) a dog or cat that is of a class of dog or cat that is exempt under a resolution made under section 10A from a requirement to be desexed.

(2) A Council may, in any resolution made under section 10A, exempt a class of dog or cat from any requirement to be desexed for the purposes of registration or the renewal of registration.

(3) Subsection (2) does not apply to a dangerous dog or a restricted breed dog.

Section 10C. Refusal of registration of dogs and cats unless permanently identified

(1) A Council must not register a dog or cat unless the dog or cat 

  • (a) has been implanted with a prescribed permanent identification device; or
  • (b) is of a class of dog or cat that is exempt, under a resolution made under section 10D (3), from the requirement to be implanted with such a device; or
  • (c) is otherwise exempted under this Act from the requirement to be implanted with such a device; or
  • (d) subject to subsection (2), has previously been registered with that Council at any time in the 12 month period immediately before the application for registration was lodged.

(2) Subsection (1)(d) does not apply if a resolution of the Council under subsection (3) is in effect under which dogs or cats of the same class as the dog or cat are required to be implanted with a prescribed permanent identification device for the purposes of the renewal of registration. 

(3) A Council may resolve that it will not, after a specified future date, renew the registration of any dog or cat unless the dog or cat

  • (a) has been implanted with a prescribed permanent identification device; or
  • (b) is exempted under this Act from any requirement to be implanted with such a device.

(4) A Council may resolve to amend or revoke any resolution made under this section. 

(5) If a Council makes a resolution under this section

  • (a) it must cause a copy of the resolution to be published in the Government Gazette and in a newspaper circulating in the municipal district of the Council; and
  • (b) it must give effect to the resolution.

(6) A Council must not register or renew the registration of a dangerous dog, a menacing dog or a restricted breed dog unless the dog has been implanted with a prescribed permanent identification device.

Section 12A. 

Dogs and cats must be permanently identified before sale or being given away The proprietor of a domestic animal business must not sell, or give away, a dog or cat unless the dog or cat has been implanted with a prescribed permanent identification device. Penalty: 10 penalty units.

Penalty units

Penalty Units are a method of handing down a fine that is inflation proof and which is flexible. A factor (a sum of money) is attached to each penalty point. This unit sum is amended as a when required. In the state of Victoria as at 2008 one unit is worth $113.42 (AUD). A conviction under section 9 would therefore result in a maximum fine of 120×113.42 = $13,610.40 or imprisonment of a maximum of one year (see punishment)

Victoria Australia Cat Animal Welfare Protection to Cats and the Law

Copyright: I have partially reproduced these 2 statutes for the sake of accuracy. It is next to impossible and it would be impertinent of me to try and summarize. This site is not for profit charity and meant to be educational. I hope and trust that that allays any possibilty of a breach of copyright. In the UK the crown has waived copyright in relation to legislation.

Photo: published under a Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs creative commons License

tralia Cat Anim
al Welfare Protection

Facebook Discussion

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Please only upload photos that are small in size of max 500px width and 50 KB size. Large images typical of most default settings on digital cameras may fail to upload. Thanks.