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New Animal Care and Protection Laws

The Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act (POCTA) has been in place since 1986. Despite its name, it has not provided an adequate framework to prevent harm to animals. 

Work is currently underway to replace POCTA with a brand new Animal Care and Protection Act.  The Act aims to improve existing provisions under POCTA and uphold the high standard of animal care and protection, expected by Victorians.   A draft plan has now been released and public consultation is now open for a second round.  Many of the positive changes reflected in this draft plan are the result of our advocacy and feedback during the first consultation. We are now presented with the unique opportunity to have further input into this major animal protection reform.  If the Act is legislated, consultation with stakeholders and the community will continue as regulations (to replace Codes of Practice) and other legislative tools to support the new Act are developed.

It's time to have your say on the plan for Victoria's new animal care and protection laws

The feedback window for the consultation period on the plan for Victoria's new animal care and protection laws closes on October 16th! If you agree that animals deserve better protection under the law, please take the time to share your views. Read the full plan for Victoria's new animal care and protection laws here, or the summary plan here, and access the feedback form here.

Submissions don’t have to be long. A few sentences or a paragraph in your own words is adequate to make your point (although longer, detailed submissions are encouraged.) 

You may wish to make general comments on the overall principles of the Act or talk about a specific issue or campaign you are passionate about. Either way, the focus should be on what the Act has achieved and where there might be gaps or loopholes that allow for further exploitation by individuals and industry.

Begin your submission by outlining your support and/or concerns. Using the table below as a guide, make sure to include which of the 16 policy positions they relate to. Next outline the outcome you would like to see (Eg. Mandatory minimum standards, or a ban on jumps racing). Lastly, sign off your submission by saying thank you for the opportunity to make a contribution to this important reform

Since regulations and guidelines will flow from the information in the Act, it’s important that the positions and principles are as clear and comprehensive as possible.

Some important things to consider when writing your submission are;

  • Codes of practice under the current POCTA Act will be replaced by regulations and guidelines.  Regulations will be enforceable.
  • Animal sentience will be recognised for the first time in Victorian law.
  • Animals are classified differently and granted different rights, based on how humans use them: for food, clothing, entertainment, companionship or experimentation. 
  • Many animals are still exempt from meaningful legal protection despite improvements in legislative frameworks.
  • Minimum care requirements and other guidelines are meaningless if they cannot be enforced. 

Our Guide

We have provided a comprehensive guide on how to provide feedback to important policy positions within this consultation, as well as how to structure your response. For each topic listed below, we provide a Summary of Approach (what the Act is proposing to do), Support (what about this do we like), Gaps/Issues (what needs to be fixed) and Solution Examples (this is what we want you to say)

Recognising sentience
Animals covered by the new laws
Legislative framework
Decision-making principles
Application of the new laws
Scientific procedures
Controlled conduct
Framework for specific classes of conduct
Authorised Officers
Authorised Officer powers
Seizure and disposal of animals
Enforcement toolkit
Co regulatory approved arrangements
Other administrative arrangements

To assist Animal Justice Party supporters to make a submission to the consultation for Reforming Victoria's animal care and protection laws, we hosted a SPECIAL MEETING on Mon 10th October We explained the guide that we've produced and the key points we would like our supporters to include and how to complete the submission. If you care about animals and how we treat them in Victoria then please do not miss out on making a submission before October 16th

If you have any queries, please contact [email protected]


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