Animal Welfare Act 2002

Page last updated: Monday, 4 February 2019 - 2:19pm

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Prohibited activities

It is an offence under the Act to engage in a prohibited activity. The Act defines a prohibited activity as an activity that involves releasing an animal, or putting an animal somewhere, for the purpose of enabling the animal to be:

  1. shot at (whether with a firearm or any other weapon)
  2. hunted by a person or another animal
  3. fought by a person or another animal, or
  4. chased by another animal, other than an animal of the same species.

The Act considers a person is engaging in a prohibited activity if the person:

  1. takes part in it
  2. spectates at it
  3. organises it
  4. promotes it
  5. keeps an animal for the purpose of it
  6. allows it to occur at a place owned or operated by the person, or
  7. in the case of the activities described in (c) and (d) of the definition of “prohibited activity”, encourages an animal to participate in it.

Severe penalties apply for a person convicted of engaging in a prohibited activity. A minimum penalty of $2000 up to a maximum of $50 000 or five years imprisonment apply for each offence.

It is a defence to a charge of engaging in a prohibited activity where the activity is the releasing of an animal for the purposes of it being hunted by another animal for a person to prove that:

  • the animal was released as food for a predatory animal kept in captivity
  • the diet of captive predatory animals of that kind ordinarily includes animals of the kind released, and
  • the captive predatory animal will not ordinarily eat dead meat.

Contact information

Animal Welfare General Enquiries