Owning other animals

A horse and owner


If you own pets or livestock (other than a dog or cat), you will need to meet some state and local government requirements. These requirements help:

  • keep your animals safe
  • prevent your animals from being a nuisance to the community
  • ensure public safety

To find out about the requirements for dogs and cats, see:

Limits on pets and livestock

Depending on the type and number of animals you wish to keep, and the size of your property, you may require a permit.

Maximum number of animals allowed at your property without a permit
Type of animal Residential
Farming zones less than 0.5ha & rural living zones Farming zones greater than 0.5ha
Dogs (includes working dogs) 2 2 5
Cats 2 2 2
Poultry 10 40 No limit
Turkeys and geese 0 0 30
Roosters 0 0 20
Domestic birds (includes pigeons) 30 30 100
Ferrets 2 4 10
Guinea pigs 6 6 10
Domestic rabbits 2 6 10
Domestic mice 6 10 10
Pigs 0 0 6
Horses, donkeys, mules, sheep and goats 0 2 No limit
Camels 0 0 No limit
Cattle 0 1 No limit
Ostriches, emus and peacocks 0 0 No limit
Any other livestock or agricultural animal 0 0 No limit

Apply for a permit for excess animals or birds

Keep your animals confined

You are legally required to keep your pets and livestock confined to your property. This means your yard must have:

  • a closed gate that your animals cannot jump, get under or through
  • an escape-proof fence that your animals cannot jump, get under or through

If you don't confine your animals, you may get a fine or your animals could be impounded.   Uncontained stock can cause serious injuries to people and damage to property.  If this occurs livestock owners can be held liable for any damages caused. 

Moving livestock

You may require a permit under Section 79 of Councils Local Law No.2 to move your livestock within the municipality if you are not exempted under the Local Law. Complete an application form below and submit to Council for assessment. Once your application has been assessed, you will be advised in writing if a permit will be issued.

Application to move livestock on a road reserve(PDF, 146KB)

If you are moving livestock on a VicRoads controlled road, you may need to obtain a permit from VicRoads.

Permit exemptions

You do not need a permit if you meet the following criteria:

  • The person is moving livestock on a VicRoads controlled road only and has obtained a permit from VicRoads. The person would need to comply with the ‘Manual for Traffic Control at Stock Crossings’ (Vic Roads, June 2015).
  • When livestock are being moved between two adjoining parts of a farm within the boundaries of those properties.
  • The person who owns or is in charge of the movement of livestock between two properties divided by a road but shall comply with the following;
    1. the livestock are moved directly across the road at a stock crossing approved by Council;
    2. portable signage is displayed to warn motorists when livestock are being moved (permanent signage and related infrastructure must not be installed without a permit);
    3. the livestock are supervised and under effective control by a person who is competent in the management of livestock;
    4. as far as possible, the livestock are moved during daylight hours;
    5. areas of high conservation are avoided and protected at all times;
    6. any livestock excretion, mud or other debris deposits on the road are removed if required by an Authorised Officer for safety and amenity of the area;
    7. any reasonable direction from an Authorised Officer is complied with.

Under certain circumstances, Council may also grant a permit exemption to the owner of any farming property upon written application to Council.

Is there a fee for the permit?

No fee is required.

How long does the permit process take?

Allow up to 7 business days for an application to be assessed.

What happens if I get caught moving livestock without a permit?

Authorised Officers may issue an on the spot fine for moving livestock on a road reserve without a permit.

Impounded livestock

Authorised Officers have the legal right to seize and impound wandering livestock. Owners of livestock may be able to claim their animals after providing proof of ownership and paying the prescribed release fees to Council.

If the livestock are not claimed within 7 days, Council has the legal right to dispose of them under the Impounding of Livestock Act 1994.

Report missing livestock

If you have noticed your livestock missing from your property, please lodge a report with the Regulatory Services Department during business hours. You are also encouraged to lodge a report with Victoria Police on 03 5036 1600.