Prohibited events, surgeries and traps

Animal welfare law in Queensland covers certain events, surgical procedures and traps that are inhumane to animals.

Prohibited events

Some uses of animals are unacceptable in Queensland. The Animal Care and Protection Act 2001 calls these 'prohibited events'. Prohibited events include:

  • cockfighting
  • bullfighting
  • dogfighting
  • coursing
  • certain types of hunting
  • certain events that cause animals pain. This may include events in which people attempt to catch, fight or throw animals.

Under the Act it is an offence to organise, supply animals to, participate in, or be present at prohibited events.

The maximum penalty for an individual convicted of participating in a prohibited event is $40,035 or 1 year imprisonment. For those present at such an event without a reasonable excuse, the maximum penalty is $20,017 or 1 year imprisonment.

Regulated surgical procedures

It is an offence under the Act to conduct certain surgical procedures on animals. The Act regards surgical procedures as acceptable only if they are conducted in a humane way by a veterinarian and for the animal's welfare or, in the case of debarking, if other avenues have been unsuccessful.

The Act also restricts the supply of animals that have had certain regulated procedures conducted on them. For example, they may require accompanying veterinary surgeons' certificates.

These regulated procedures and penalties include:

  • cropping dogs' ears (maximum penalty $13,345)
  • docking a dogs tail (maximum penalty $13,345)
  • docking the tails of cattle or horses (maximum $40,035 or 1 year imprisonment)
  • debarking dogs (maximum $40,035 or 1 year imprisonment)
  • removing cats' claws (maximum $40,035 or 1 year imprisonment) .

The maximum penalties apply for an individual convicted in relation to a regulated surgical procedure.

Possession or use of certain traps or spurs

It is an offence under sections 34 and 35 of the Act to possess and use certain traps and spurs. If you are unsure about the legality of traps or spurs you possess or intend to use, seek advice from Biosecurity Queensland or the RSPCA complaints coordinator.

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