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Routine Care and Management of Animals in Public School Farms Procedures


These procedures must be read in conjunction with the Use of Animals in Public Schools Policy.

2. Scope

These procedures apply to principals and school staff in public schools.

3. Procedures

3.1 Routine care and management of animals

School staff must:

  • adhere to consistent, high quality practice for the care and management of animals in accordance with the Animal Welfare Act 2002;
  • use a Standard Operating Procedure or Model Code of Practice endorsed by the Agricultural Education directorate for the relevant activity where available; and
  • when undertaking activities not considered to be routine management of animals, submit a Form A: Proposal for the use of animals on school farms for non-routine activities and obtain written approval from the Director, Agricultural Education prior to the commencement of the activity.

School staff must not demonstrate to students or allow students to carry out the following activities:

  • animal breeding that does not achieve an educational outcome and fails to provide for the lifetime welfare of animals (and their offspring, if relevant);
  • induction of an infectious disease or illness;
  • production of nutritional deficiency;
  • exposure to a condition that would cause an animal to experience pain and/or distress;
  • administration of drugs or chemicals unless for therapeutic or diagnostic purposes; or
  • administration of toxins, ionising radiation or biohazards.

Surgical or other painful procedures must only be done by qualified personnel or a registered veterinarian.


For copies of the form or to determine whether an activity is routine management of animals or not, contact the Agricultural Education Branch on 9264 5202.

Standard Operating Procedures and Guidelines

To assist schools to adhere to consistent and high quality practices for the care and management of animals in schools, the Department endorses the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development’s Resources and publications and the Australian Government’s Australian Animals Welfare Standards and Guidelines

3.2 Reporting

Principals must:

  • submit Form C: Livestock Report to the Director, Agricultural Education on a regular basis including livestock deaths; and
  • undertake a physical livestock count annually.


For copies of the form, refer to the Ikon page Complete livestock report (staff only).

3.3 Unexpected Incident

Principals and school staff must, when an animal experiences an illness or injury, or dies in unusual or unexpected circumstances:

  • provide appropriate treatment, in a timely manner; and
  • submit Form B: Unexpected Animal Incident Report to the Director, Agricultural Education within 24 hours of the event.


Deaths of the following animals are reportable using Form B: Unexpected Animal Incident Report:

  • large animals, for example horses, cattle and alpaca; and
  • other animals in the event of multiple deaths, animal attack, suspicious events including human intervention and any events that may have an adverse impact on the welfare of animals.

For copies of the form, refer to the Ikon page Report unexpected livestock incidents at agricultural colleges and farm schools (staff only).

3.4 Record keeping

School staff must maintain records of the use, care and monitoring of animals that are sufficient to enable the Director, Agricultural Education to verify that the wellbeing of animals has been monitored as agreed and allow review and critical investigation of the cause(s) of and responses to unexpected adverse events.

4. Definitions

Any live non-human vertebrate (that is, amphibians, reptiles, birds and mammals encompassing domestic animals, purpose-bred animals, livestock, wildlife) and cephalopods.

6. Contact information

Policy manager:              

Director, Agricultural Education   

Policy contact officer:     

Consultant, Animals in Schools        

T: (08) 9264 5202


7. History of changes

Effective date Last update date Procedure version no.
5 August 2014 2.0
Animals in Schools policy reviewed and recast as Use of Animals in Schools Policy and Procedures. Endorsed by DG on 27 June 2014.
5 August 2014 3 September 2014 2.1
Guidance updated with information on where to obtain forms.
5 August 2014 31 August 2018 2.2
Minor changes to include reference to Public Schools D18/0151652, updated legislation links D18/0207680 and updates to reflect organisational changes D18/0388845.
5 August 2014 20 February 2020 2.3
Minor changes to contact information D19/0473431
5 August 2014 7 September 2022 2.4
Minor changes to contact information D22/0682617
5 August 2014 24 July 2023 2.5
Minor changes to hyperlinks and related documents. D23/1340281

9. More information

This procedure:

Download procedure PDFRoutine Care and Management of Animals in Public School Farms Procedures v2.5

Please ensure you also download the policy supported by this procedure.

Supported policy:

Download Policy PDFUse of Animals in Public Schools Policy

Procedure review date

5 August 2017

Procedure last updated

24 July 2023