Asset Publisher

Use of Animals for Scientific Purposes in Public Schools 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 teachers in public schools.

3. Procedures

3.1 Approval

Teachers must:


Standard Operating Procedures

To assist schools to adhere to consistent and high quality practices for the care and use of animals in schools, the Schools Animal Ethics Committee has developed Standard Operating Procedures for a number of activities:

  • Chicken Egg Hatching
  • Small Scale Poultry Housing
  • Caged Birds
  • Fish Euthanasia
  • Humane Destruction of Livestock

When seeking approval for a scientific teaching activity, the teacher should demonstrate consideration of the Three R’s; replacement, reduction and refinement from the Australian code of practice for the care and use of animals for scientific purposes 8th Edition 2013.

Chicken egg hatching is considered to be a scientific teaching activity and requires the submission of a proposal. 

Approval is not required for the use of animals for purely observation activities or non-scientific activities.  This may include animals kept as class pets such as goldfish, budgies and mice or chickens kept as part of a kitchen garden project.

If a teacher is unsure whether an activity requires approval, the teacher should contact the Executive Officer of the Schools Animal Ethics Committee.

3.2 Reporting

Teachers must:

  • where animals are used for a scientific teaching activity, complete a Form E: Activity Completion at the completion of the activity; and
  • where approval is granted to undertake the activity on a recurring basis, the teachers must submit Form D: Annual Report at the completion of the activity each year, or by the last day of Term 4.

3.3 Illness/injury, death or unexpected incident

Principals or teachers must:

  • seek appropriate veterinary assistance and treatment, in a timely manner when  an animal experiences an illness, injury or unexpected incident; and
  • complete Form C2: Illness/injury, death or unexpected incident report and forward it to the Executive Officer of the Schools Animal Ethics Committee within one working day of the event.

3.4 Record keeping

Teachers must maintain records of the use, care and monitoring of animals that are sufficient to enable the Schools Animal Ethics Committee 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.


Form C1: Animal Use and Health Records has been developed for use by schools however alternative formats can be developed for the on-going monitoring of animals, providing all the information contained in the Form C1 is retained.

3.5 Displaying the licence

Principals must confirm that a copy of the Department’s current Animal Use Licence is on display in any place where animals are used for scientific purposes.

4. Definitions

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

Any action or group of actions to impart or demonstrate knowledge or techniques to achieve an educational outcome in science, as specified in the relevant curriculum or competency requirements.

5. Related documents

6. Contact information

Policy manager:

Director, Teaching and Learning Services    

Policy contact officer:

Senior Consultant, Specialist Services         

T: (08) 9402 6106             

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 4 August 2015 2.2
Deleted references to contact Agricultural Education Branch as per D15/0197284 and replaced Form D: Annual Report with Form E: Activity Completion under section 3.2 as per approval email D15/0260168.
5 August 2014 2 August 2017 2.3
Minor change to contact details D17/0326703
5 August 2014 31 August 2018 2.4
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 2.5
Minor changes to contact information D19/0473431

8. More information

This procedure:

Download procedure PDFUse of Animals for Scientific Purposes in Public Schools 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

Supporting content:

Procedure review date

5 August 2017

Procedure last updated

20 February 2020