Animals in Schools

The use of animals for scientific education purposes.

Please scroll to the bottom of the page for contacts and links

Do you need to comply?

Possibly – if your school is using animals in its programs.

Conditions of compliance

Schools are deemed to be scientific premises and using animals to teach any scientific concept is deemed to be a scientific procedure.

If you have to comply, what do you have to do?

In order to carry out scientific procedures using live animals, any scientific premises must hold a Scientific Procedure Premises Licence (SPPL) (a cost is involved).

Before any scientific procedure can be conducted, the organisation must apply to and seek the approval of the Victorian Schools Animal Ethics Committee (VSAEC).

Where native fauna, covered by the Wildlife Act 1975 (Vic.) is kept or used by schools, an additional permit is required (this can be obtained from Department of Sustainability and Environment).

You must comply with the Australian Code of Practice for the Care and Use of Animals for Scientific Purposes and the Code of Practice for the Housing and Care of Laboratory Mice, Rats, Guinea Pigs and Rabbits (if applicable).

What are the consequences if you don’t comply?

You may be in breach of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act 1986 (Vic.) and the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Regulations 2008 (Vic.).

Who will help you?

Independent Schools Victoria contact:

Peter Roberts
Director, School Services
Ph. 03 9825 7211

Links and Resources

External linkVic DET: School Policy and Advisory Guide – Animals in Schools (includes references to Victorian Schools Animal Ethics Committee (VSAEC))

External linkVic DET: Scientific Procedures Premises Licence

External linkDepartment of Primary Industries

External linkNational Health and Medical Research Council – Australian code of practice for the care and use of animals for scientific purposes