Is dog fighting legal in Australia?

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.

State/TerritoryYes/NoName of relevant act
ACTNoAnimal Welfare Act 1992
NSWNoPrevention of Cruelty to Animals Act 1979
NTNoAnimal Welfare Act 2000
QLDNoAnimal Care and Protection Act 2001
SANoAnimal Welfare Act 1985
TASNoAnimal Welfare Act 1993
VICNoPrevention of Cruelty to Animals Act 1986
WANoAnimal 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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Updated on May 2, 2019
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