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
- Section 33 of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act 1986
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.
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.
Do I need a lawyer or professional representative?
You do not need to have legal or other professional representation to appear at VCAT. If you wish to be represented by a lawyer or a professional advocate, usually you must ask for VCAT's permission. Be aware that the regulatory body in most cases uses legal representation.
Find free or low-cost legal services that may be able to assist you.
Need help with your application?
We can explain the application process and what the form is asking you for. Contact us to get support.
We cannot give you legal advice. This means we cannot tell you what to write in your application or recommend how to get the outcome you want.
Seek legal help if you are unsure about your options or need advice about your claim. The following services may be able to help you:
Access and privacy
VCAT hearings and files are usually public.
VCAT has limited authority to restrict who can access cases and files but, in certain circumstances, you can apply for confidentiality.