Restricted breed dogs

Restricted breeds of dogs

  • Dogo Argentino
  • Fila Brasileiro
  • Japanese Tosa
  • American Pit Bull Terrier (or Pit Bull Terrier)
  • Perro de Canario (or Presa Canario).

These breeds have been banned from importation into Australia due to the threat they pose to public safety. Of the breeds banned from importation, only the American Pit Bull Terrier or Pit Bull Terrier is understood to be in Tasmania.

Our rangers determine if a dog is a restricted breed dog on the basis of approved guidelines which include key characteristics of dog breeds such as height, weight, coat, colouration, tail carriage, and facial and body features. Owners can appeal the declaration of their dog as a restricted breed dog to the Magistrates Court (Administrative Appeals Division) within 28 days of the service of the notice of the declaration.  The onus is on the owner to prove that the dog is not a restricted breed.

Restricted breed desexing and micro-chipping

Once declared to be a restricted breed dog, it must be desexed and microchipped within 28 days. The owner of the dog is responsible for the costs of desexing, and microchipping and must ensure that the microchip is not removed from the dog without approval. Failing to microchip a dog or failing to ensure that a microchip is not removed are offences that are punishable by a fine.

Control of restricted breed dogs

When a restricted breed dog is in a public place, the owner or person in charge of the dog must be at least 18 years of age and must ensure that the dog is:

  • Muzzled so it is unable to bite a person or animal;
  • Held on a lead that is no more than two metres long, and which is sufficient to control and restrain the dog.

Failing to meet any of these requirements may incur a penalty.

Sale and purchase of restricted breed dogs

A person who wishes to purchase or become the owner of a restricted breed dog must apply to their council for approval to have ownership transferred to them. All dogs declared to be restricted breed dogs in other states will be recognised as such in Tasmania and approval will be required before the dog can be imported into the state. A restricted breed dog may only be sold or given away after the buyer or new owner has received prior approval from their council.  The seller must notify their council within 24 hours of completion of the sale of the dog. Failure to notify the council of such a sale may incur a fine.

Loss, straying or death of a restricted breed dog

If a restricted breed dog goes missing, strays, dies, or is lost, the owner or a person on behalf of the owner must notify us as soon as possible. Failure to do so may incur a penalty. A restricted breed dog must not be allowed to stray or be abandoned. Abandonment is an offence under the Animal Welfare Act 1993.

Attacks by restricted breed dogs

If a dog declared to be a restricted breed dog attacks a person or animal, the owner is guilty of an offence and may be punished by a fine or imprisonment.  A restricted breed dog that attacks a person or animal may subsequently be declared to be a dangerous dog.

Secure confinement of restricted breed dogs

When on private premises a restricted breed dog must be securely confined to those premises.

Warning signs and approved collars

An approved warning sign must be erected at each entrance to a property that houses a restricted breed dog.  The dog is also required to wear an approved collar at all times.  Signs and collars can be purchased from council.