As outlined in the table below, legislation in all Australian states and territories specifically prohibit people from transporting dogs unrestrained on the back of utes or other open vehicles or trailers, with some exemptions in some jurisdictions for specific situations (e.g., dog who is being used to assist in the movement of livestock).
The RSPCA advises people to ensure their dog’s restraint is long enough to allow the dog to stand and lie down, but not so long that there is risk of the dog jumping or falling over the edge of the moving vehicle. Using swivels to attach the restraint to both the vehicle and the dog’s collar can help prevent the restraint from tangling.
Also remember not to drive with your dog in the tray of the ute, or another open vehicle or trailer if the dog is going to be exposed to extreme weather conditions. In addition, ute trays or other metal surfaces can get very hot in the sun and dogs can burn their footpads so please take precautions to protect your dog.
Consider safely restraining your dog in the cabin of your ute or open vehicle with a safety-belt restraint as this is generally safer, especially in the case of an accident.
|State/Territory||Yes/No||Name of relevant act/special conditions and requirements|
|ACT||No||Section 15A of the Animal Welfare Act 1992 prohibits a person from carrying a dog in or on a moving vehicle if the dog is not restrained or enclosed in a way that prevents the dog from falling or jumping from the vehicle or being injured (exemption for dogs being used to work livestock)|
|NSW||No||Section 7 of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act 1979 prohibits a person from carrying a dog on the open back of a vehicle unless the dog is restrained or enclosed in such a way as to prevent the dog falling from the vehicle (exemption for dogs being used to work livestock).|
|NT||No||Section 34 of the Animal Protection Act 2018 (NT) prohibits transporting a dog in a vehicle unless the dog is inside a passenger compartment AND is secured in such a way that prevents it from being injured or falling from the vehicle.|
|Qld||No||The recently passed Animal Care and Protection Amendment Bill 2022 prohibits transporting a dog on the open back of a vehicle unless the dog is secured in such a way that prevents it from being injured or falling from the vehicle.|
|SA||No||Section 45 of the Dog and Cat Management Act 1995 prohibits a person from transporting a dog on an open tray of a vehicle unless the dog is enclosed or restrained in a way that prevents the dog from falling or escaping from the vehicle. This does not apply to the transport of an accredited assistance dog or a dog that is being used in the droving or tending of stock or is going to or returning from a place where it will be, or has been, so used.|
|Tas||No||Section 16(3) of the Dog Control Act 2000 requires a person in charge of a dog in or on a vehicle to restrict the dog sufficiently to prevent the dog from leaving the vehicle or attack any person or animal outside the vehicle.|
|Vic||No||Section 15A of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act 1986 prohibits a person from transporting a dog in or on a tray or trailer unless the dog is secured in such a way as to prevent the dog from falling off, moving off, or being injured from the movement of the vehicle or trailer. This does not apply to a dog which is being used to assist in the movement of livestock.|
|WA||No||Section 6.2 of the Standards and Guidelines for the Health and Welfare of Dogs in Western Australia 2020 requires that, where a dog is transported on the open back of a moving vehicle on a road, the dog must be suitably secured by enclosing the dog in a transport crate fixed to the vehicle or restrained by a tether where; (i) the length of the tether allows the dog some movement, including to stand and lie down, but does not allow the dog to jump or fall off the tray; and (ii) the tether is not attached to a choke chain or other device which may tighten around the neck.
There are also recommended guidelines for the transport of dogs on the open back of a moving vehicle.
The information presented here is not intended to be relied on for legal advice and you should seek advice from the relevant authority and/or a lawyer about your individual circumstances.