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Links to Legislation
Australia has a wide variety of legislation affecting companion animals. All States and Territories have legislation about animal welfare, called variously a Prevention of Cruelty to Animals or Animal Welfare Act (or similar). These Acts deal with the provision of sufficient water, food, shelter and exercise; they outlaw cruelty and make the provision of care to sick and injured animals mandatory, and they control what can and can't be done to animals, and who is allowed to do such things, including surgical procedures, poisons and electric shocks.
Companion animals and their owners are also under the control of animal management legislation, variously called Domestic or Companion Animals Acts, or similar. However, there are no such acts in Queensland, Western Austalia or the Northern Territory, where animal management legislation is in the form of local laws enabled under the Local Government Act in each State or Territory. Each Shire or Council sets its own local laws, with some degree of guidance from the State authority. This legislation determines whether or not you can own a dog, cat or other animal, how many you can own, whether they must be confined, walked on a lead, and wthere off leash areas are allowed. They deal with the identification, registration and desexing of companion animals and with nuisance issues such as barking, and with the management of dangerous dogs.
Subordinate legislation in the form of Regulations and Codes pf Practice exist in most States and Territories to provide more detail of how animals must be treated.
The following link to all relevant State and Territory Legislation for animal welfare and animal management. The following pages contain external links which will break if the legislation is updated or if websites are reorgansied, Please report any broken links to email@example.com.
Animal Welfare in Australia - Commonwealth Government