Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act 1986 (review)

This page provides general information and should not be considered as legal advice. Seek legal advice if you are unsure about your legal rights. Be aware that the law can change.

VCAT can review certain decisions made by the Department Head of the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act 1986 regarding:

  • scientific procedures premises licences
  • scientific procedures fieldwork licences
  • specified animals breeding licences.

Cases we can hear

You may be able to apply to VCAT for a review if you are a person affected by the Department Head's decision:

  • refusing to grant or renew a scientific procedures premises licence, scientific procedures fieldwork licence or a specified animal breeding licence
  • to impose conditions on such a licence
  • to cancel or suspend such a licence.

Cases we cannot hear

VCAT has no power in relation to actions taken by inspectors and others under the enforcement provisions in the Act, including under warrants issued by the Magistrates’ Court to seize animals or search premises.

Legislation that gives VCAT the power to hear these applications

Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act 1986 - section 33.

If you have a decision document, use it to help you complete the VCAT application form and attach a copy of the document to your application.

Time limits

You must make your application within 28 days after the later of the day on which

  • the decision was made, or
  • if you have requested a statement of reasons under the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal Act, the statement of reasons is given to you or you are informed that a statement of reasons will not be given.

You may be able to apply for an extension to this time limit.

What can VCAT order?

Unless the relevant Act of Parliament gives us different powers, VCAT can:

  • affirm the original decision, in which case the original decision will stand
  • vary the decision
  • set aside the decision and substitute our own decision
  • set aside the decision and remit (send back) the matter for reconsideration by the decision maker giving directions or recommendations
  • invite the decision-maker to reconsider their decision at any time during the case.

More about how we resolve your case

Read more about hearings at VCAT, professional representation, access and privacy and communicating with VCAT.