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The Protection of Animals Act 1881 (45 Vic.,No.712), which was to be read and construed as one with Part II of the Police Offences Act 1865, prohibited cruelty towards animals.
The Protection of Animals Act 1966 (No.7432) provided for the re-enactment with amendments of Division 2 of Part II of the Police Offences Act 1958. The Act made it an offence to undertake acts of cruelty towards animals.
The Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act 1968 provided for the retrospective incorporation of the Society (previously known as the Victorian Society for the Protection of Animals) under the Hospitals and Charities Act. From 1871 to 1895 the Society was an unincorporated association. Since 1895 the Society had been incorporated although doubts had arisen as to the legal existence, membership and control of the Society.
The Protection of Animals Regulations 1974 were initially administered by the Chief Secretary's Department (Statutory Rules 436/1974).
In 1980 the Protection of Animals Regulations 1974 were listed as a responsibility of the Fisheries and Wildlife Division of the Ministry for Conservation (Victorian Government Directory 1980).
By February 1981 the Minister of Agriculture had assumed responsibility for the Protection of Animals Act 1966 (Government Gazette No.16 1981).
The Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act 1986 represented a re-enactment and updating of the Protection of Animals Act 1966. The 1986 Act enables Codes of Practice to be made in respect of any animal and provides stricter and more effective measures to protect animals from acts of cruelty. It also provides more stringent controls over scientific experiments on animals and introduces a comprehensive scheme of supervision of animal experimentation.