Breed Specific Legislation To Be Overhauled Following Inquiry

15 September 2016

Pit Bulls and other restricted breed dogs will be allowed in Victoria with strict requirements on owners under changes to be introduced by the Andrews Labor Government next year.

Minister for Agriculture Jaala Pulford today announced that the Labor Government will seek to remove the ban on registering restricted breed dogs as part of its response to the Victorian Parliamentary Inquiry into breed-specific legislation.

The Economy and Infrastructure Committee's report recommended the Domestic Animals Act 1994 be amended to allow the registration of restricted breed dogs, while retaining all other restrictions. Affected breeds include pure or cross bred Pit Bull Terriers, Perro de Presa Canarios, Dogo Argentinos, Japanese Tosas, and Fila Brasileiros.

Owners of restricted breed dogs must adhere to strict requirements. This includes ensuring that such dogs are desexed, microchipped, kept in escape-proof housing and identified by a special collar. They must also be muzzled and kept on leash when being exercised off the property.

Properties containing a restricted breed dog must display a specific turquoise warning sign at the entrance to their property indicating that a restricted breed dog is housed on the premises.

The Parliamentary inquiry, established in May 2015, delivered on the Labor Government’s election commitment to review the laws.

The inquiry received 502 written submissions and heard from 16 organisations and individuals at public hearings. The Committee’s report and the Labor Government’s response is available at: Link

The current moratorium on the requirement to euthanize restricted breed dogs will remain in place until the changes are implemented.

Quotes attributable to Minister for Agriculture Jaala Pulford

“To keep our community safe from dangerous dogs our laws need to be effective – that’s why we set up an inquiry to get them right.”

“Despite the ban on restricted breeds, there are still many dangerous dogs in the community, whilst other dogs known to be safe have been put down.”

"These changes will protect the community and ensure our laws are workable.”

Reviewed 19 August 2020

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