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Is there legislation relating to the ownership of specific breeds of dog?

Article ID: 286
Last updated: 11 Nov, 2014
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Legislation about dog breeds is commonly known as breed-specific legislation. This controls the importation and requirements for keeping some specific breeds of dogs.

Specific breeds are restricted from importation under the federal Customs (Prohibited Imports) Regulations 1956 (see table below or read the FAQs on the AQIS website for further information). These are: pit bull terriers or American pit bull terriers, Japanese tosas, Argentinean fighting dogs (dogo Argentino), Brazilian fighting dogs (fila Brasileiro) and the Perro de Presa Canario or Presa canario

Yes/No Details of conditions and any associated laws

Section 55 of the Companion Animals Act 1988 contains restrictions for the prescribed breeds (see above)

The owners of restricted dogs must comply with the following requirements:

  • The dog must be kept in a child proof enclosure.
  • The dog cannot be in the sole charge of a person under the age of 18 years.
  • One or more signs “ Warning Dangerous Dogs” must be displayed on the boundaries of the property
  • When the dog is away from its normal property it must be under the effective control of a competent person
  • The dog cannot be sold to a person less than 18 years of age
  • The dog owner must notify the Local Council of the following matters
    • That the dog has attacked or injured a person or animal (within 24 hours)
    • That the dog cannot be found (within 24 hours)
    • That the dog has died (as soon as possible)
    • That the dog’s ownership has changed (within 24 hours)
    • That the dog is no longer being ordinarily kept in the area of the council (as soon as possible)
    • That the dog is being ordinarily kept at a different location in the area of the council (as soon as possible)
QLD Yes Restrictions for the prescribed breeds (see above)
SA Yes Restrictions for the prescribed breeds (see above), must be desexed, muzzled in public, not allowed to be sold or given away
TAS No Restrictions for the prescribed breeds (see above) under Dog Control Act 2000

Customs (Prohibited Imports) Regulations 1956 of the Commonwealth - restricted breed dog

Domestic (Feral & Nuisance) Animals Act 1994: Section 7: Exemptions for Guide Dogs Section 27: Restraint of greyhounds. Section 41G/L: Restraint of restricted breed dogs when on owners premises

Also specific regulations (Catchment & Land Protection Act 1994) regarding keeping of dingoes

Yes Federal import ban – Dog Act for dangerous dogs

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Also read
folder What is the RSPCA's position on breed-specific legislation?

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folder Companion animals -> Dogs -> Dangerous dogs

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