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Is dog fighting legal in Australia?

Article ID: 237
Last updated: 05 Jan, 2017
Revision: 4
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Dog fighting is illegal in Australia. It is also illegal to possess any fighting equipment designed for dog fighting. Despite this, dog fighting still occurs in Australia and is often associated with gambling activities and other illegal practices such as drug dealing and firearms.

Dogs used for fighting are often specifically bred for fighting and are trained to be extremely aggressive towards other dogs.

Dog fighting places the animal at significant risk of serious pain, injury, suffering or even death for the purpose or entertainment or sport. When dogs are injured the owners may attempt to treat the injuries themselves rather than risk being reported by an attendant veterinarian. This then places the dog's health and welfare at even greater risk as the owner's are unqualified and untrained to perform medical or surgical practices which can lead to fatal consequences for the dog.

The following table lists the legislation prohibiting dog fights in each State/Territory.



Name of relevant act



Animal Welfare Act 1992



Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act 1979



Animal Welfare Act 2000



Animal Care and Protection Act 2001 



Animal Welfare Act 1985



Animal Welfare Act 1993



Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act 1986



Animal Welfare Act 2002

The RSPCA inspectorate will investigate suspected dog fights wherever they are informed of them. Please contact your State/Territory RSPCA inspectorate to report any suspected dog fighting activities.

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Also read
folder RSPCA Policy C09 Animal fighting

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