Department of Education

Animal Ethics

Animal Ethics

Animal Ethics ‹ Forms

Applications, Reports and Forms

Teachers planning to use animals for a teaching activity under the science strand must submit an application (also called a Proposal) and obtain approval from the Schools Animal Ethics Committee (SAEC), prior to commencing the activity.  This is a legislative requirement under the Animal Welfare Act 2002 (Act) and the Australian code for the care and use of animals for scientific purposes 8th ed. (2013)(Code).   

New Online Application and Reporting System

From February 2017 a new online system is being implemented for teachers and principals to submit all Proposals (or applications) and reports electronically. This system is available to all schools in WA - public schools, Catholic schools and private independent schools. 

Important to Note:

  • Paper forms are no longer accepted for proposals, activity completion reports or annual reports.  See below for the paper forms that may still be required.
  • Annual Reports - NIL returns are NOT required if you have no activities approved by the SAEC and have no animals on site.  A NIL return IS REQUIRED if you have an approved activity whether you used any animals or not. (E.g. If you have a three year approval but didn't undertake the activity one year, you must submit a NIL return.)  All Annual Reports must be submitted online - paper forms will not be accepted.
  • Applications for new activities (called Proposals) can only be approved at meetings in Week 3 and Week 8 of each term.
  • Proposals must be submitted 10 working days prior to the meeting (e.g. submit in Week 1 for approval at the Week 3 meeting). 
  • Activities must not commence until after approval is received as the SAEC is not permitted (under the Code) to approve activities after they have commenced.  Note: activities undertaken without approval are deemed "in breach" of the legislation and must be reported to the regulator.



Chicken Egg Hatching Activity 

Chicken egg hatching is the most common scientific activity that requires SAEC approval. Download important information here: Chicken Egg Hatching Information for Teachers

Keeping the Chicks? 

Small chicks can die if you put them straight into an outdoor coop.  Click Here for Guidelines on transitioning chicks to an outside coop if you are condsidering keeping the chicks after the hatching activity.

Other Scientific Teaching Activities

Apart from egg hatching, other scientific teaching activities that require approval include breeding of small vertebrates such as mice, guinea pigs and rabbits, or activities using fish.  For further information regarding what other activities may also require approval and the categories of animal use, please see the Animal Use Decisions section of this website.

Reporting Requirements

Schools must submit the following reports through the Online System:

  • Annual Reports - Mandatory for all schools that have an approved activity (due by the end of the school year).  If you have not undertaken the approved activity you must submit a NIL return.
  • Activity Completion Report - Teachers undertaking an approved activity (due within 14 days of the end of the activity).

Paper Forms - that may still be used

Schools using animals for scientific purposes are required to maintain records of the care and use of the animals and provide an Annual Report.  Schools may use either Form B or Form C1 below, or develop their own record keeping procedures.  However if there is an illness, injury, death or unexpected incident (e.g. an animal is lost), a Form C2 and C1 must be forwarded to the SAEC as soon as possible.  

For more detailed information on why these forms and processes are required refer to the Australian code for the care and use of animals for scientific purposes - 8th Edition - Chapter 2.4 Responsibilities of investigators


All contents copyright Government of Western Australia, unless otherwise stated.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are advised that this site may contain images of people who are deceased.

Copyright material available on this website is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) licence
Exclusions may apply: