Animal welfare


All animals in the Northern Territory (NT) are entitled to a minimum level of care that provides for their welfare, health and safety.

If you are in charge of any animal - wild, farmed or a family pet - under NT law you must make sure that all of the following conditions for its care and handling are met:

  • it has enough of the right kind of food and water
  • it has the right kind of living conditions
  • it gets proper treatment if it is sick or injured
  • it is allowed to exercise
  • it is handled appropriately
  • it will not be harmed by any confinement or restraint
  • it is worked, ridden or otherwise used only in ways that are appropriate
  • it is not abandoned
  • it is not used in an organised animal fight.

The Animal Welfare Authority is responsible for making sure animal owners follow the rules, and appoints welfare inspectors and officers to ensure that animals are treated humanely, prevent cruelty to animals and promote community awareness about the welfare of animals.

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Last updated: 17 December 2019

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