Department of Education

Animal Ethics

Animal Ethics

Animal Ethics ‹ Animal Use Decisions

Animal Use Decisions

When is prior approval by the Schools Animal Ethics Committee (SAEC) required?

Teachers must obtain approval when the teaching activity:

  1. uses live vertebrates; and
  2. is under the science learning area; and
  3. causes disruption to the animal's environment, conditions or behaviour (Category 3). 

Applications are submitted through an online system and teachers must be aware of the SAEC meeting dates and cut-off times. 

Approval IS required for these common activities:

  • Chicken egg hatching;
  • Monitoring and caring for very young or vulnerable animals;
  • Breeding small mammals (e.g. mice, guinea pigs and rabbits);
  • Animals in farm schools subjected to investigations under the science curriculum; and
  • Any other activities under Category 3, 4 or 5 see: Categories of animal use (below).

Prior Approval is NOT required for:

  • Any animals not used in teaching science e.g. goldfish tank in the office;
  • Laying hens housed in a coop;
  • Class pets e.g. goldfish, budgie, guinea pig;
  • Invertebrates e.g. insects, spiders, worms, snails, crustaceans;
  • Observation of tadpoles transforming into frogs as long as they are returned to their original environment;
  • Experiments using fish (e.g. changing water temperature, salinity);
  • Fish breeding (e.g. aquaponics using silver perch) when the intention is to harvest;
  • Animals used for dissections when they are obtained pre-euthanized from a licensed supplier (e.g. ARC); and
  • Animals in farm schools and agricultural programs subject to normal animal husbandry activities.
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Animal Use Decisions

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