Freedom to own a pet


People applying for asylum in Australia have lost the freedom to own a pet.

The Department of Immigration and Border Protection has issued a notice to people seeking asylum living in Australia with a policy restriction on pet ownership. 

The Department can decide if people can own a dog, cat or even a gold fish.

ASRC Director of Campaigns, Jana Favero said, "This is another terrifying display of arbitrary powers to decide the rights of people seeking asylum, this time their freedom to own a pet and the ability to take of care of their pet's health'. 

Veterinarian at Best Mates charity vet clinic Jason Rapke said, "For people struggling in life, especially those with few family and friends, their pets can be a huge source of support and motivation.”

Sign now and add your voice to the growing community in Australia calling for fairness, dignity and respect for people seeking asylum.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull  


Every person in Australia enjoys the right to enormous benefits of an animal's companionship. 


The Victorian Government has granted every tenant the right to have a pet in their rented home. 


Yet your Department of Immigration and Border Protection has a new policy removing the freedom to own a pet for people applying for asylum who live in Australia.


People seeking asylum already experience high rates of mental ill health, isolation, depression and anxiety, much of it due to Australia's cruel and arduous process to apply for protection.


Please reinstate this basic right to the companionship of a pet while people wait for their applications to be processed.

The Asylum Seeker Resource Centre (ASRC) recognises the importance of protecting the privacy and the rights of individuals in relation to their personal or sensitive information. Our privacy policy and full collection statement is available online at

Who's signing

GOAL: 5,000 signatures

Will you sign?

Showing 2342 reactions

  • Sign the petition: Freedom to own a pet
  • What else can the government take from people seeking asylum ?
  • I suggest the whole of Immigration /Border Protection staff be denied the right to own a pet for their enjoyment.
  • Sign the petition: Freedom to own a pet
  • Owning a pet is therapeutic and may be the only thing of comfort that an asylum seeker has in their lonely life. What twisted cruelty, What else will the heartless Government/Dutton think up to make the life of asylum seekers a nightmare and which will shame us even more in the eyes of the world??
  • As a refugee supporter I am ashamed ,disgusted and appalled by our Govt. policies.Mr Dutton, how do you sleep at night??
  • Hitler banned Jews from having pets. Says everything about this Turnbull led coalition.
  • Such a cruel policy which I know has been enforced even when an extremely distraught and distressed refugee ( from trauma in his country of origin) was given a bird and a dog. They had to go – not allowed. This same person was purposely placed in a 3 bedroom house in Brisbane by the Department with nobody else allowed reside there! At what cost? And after 3 months of requests for him to be involved with family supporters of his in an environmental cleanup on an island in the same State, permission was refused a few days before he was due to attend! Now what do you call that???? Words fail me -“inhuman” is a gross understatement. A lot of Australians wouldn’t believe this treatment occurs, carried out by a Government representing them…..
  • How low can you go?
  • Stop bringing differences. Asylum aren’t only from one country they are people who come from around the world. Are we the only country who have pet ?