Ratification Date: 01 Jan 2006

Position statement

Tethering is a temporary method of restraint and is not suitable for long-term confinement. Tethering of animals requires a high standard of animal husbandry and exceptional care, including regular and frequent inspections. Animals should be appropriately trained to tether.

Animals should never be tethered where their welfare is compromised.


Tethering is defined as the securing of an animal to an anchor point, in order to confine the animal to a desired area. It is used to prevent an animal (eg dog) straying in the owner’s absence, or to allow an animal (eg sheep or goat) to graze unfenced pasture. Tethering should not be confused with short-term tying up or with hobbling.

Tethering of animals exposes them to increased risk of stress, injury or death. In particular, tethered animals may be:

  • unable to access food and water
  • unable to obtain shelter from climatic extremes
  • unable to obtain sufficient exercise
  • unable to evade attack from other animals
  • isolated from their companions
  • exposed to environmental hazards, such as road traffic
  • injured by the tether - for example, where there is no swivel in the chain.

For these reasons, other confinement methods appropriate for the species should be sought.


Species-specific guidelines are to be developed by respective Special Interest Groups, based on the Victorian Code.

Relevant guidelines

Guidelines for the tethering of animals

Date of ratification by AVA Board 1 January 2006