Decision Making Process

From Term 1 2017, Victorian government and Catholic schools will use the new Victorian Curriculum F-10. Curriculum related information is currently being reviewed and may be subject to change.

For more information on the curriculum, see:
The Victorian Curriculum F–10 - VCAA

Victorian Schools Animal Ethics Committee (VSAEC) has responsibility for determining what activities involving the use of animals are permissible in schools. In determining these activities, VSAEC is guided by relevant legislation and codes.  Teachers are also required to go through a process of deciding whether the use of animals is justified and so, it is essential that the 3Rs filter is applied, see: Policies and Guidelines

The following step-by-step decision making process will help you in planning to use animals in schools.

Step 1: Are you using live animals as part of your teaching?

Yes - Go to Step 2
No - You are not required to notify VSAEC of your use of animals. However, you are obliged to follow the relevant Code of Practice for the Welfare of Animals and  teachers’ primary concern must be the welfare of the animals at all times, including provision for care during weekends and holiday periods and for veterinary care when needed.. End of process. 

Step 2: Can the educational outcome be achieved without using animals?

Yes - Use a non animal alternative. End of process.
No - Go to Step 3

Step 3: Is what you plan a VSAEC approved activity?

Yes - Go to Step 4
No - Go to Step 5

Step 4: Apply for approval via submitting a Notice of Intent to VSAEC

  1. Ascertain that your SPPL is current. See Scientific Procedures Premises Licence
  2. Ensure that the impact of the activity on the animal is minimised.
  3. Ensure that source of the animals, their housing, monitoring, fate and records are in accordance with the details of the pre-approved activity and the guidelines for the particular species to be used, see: Species Notes
  4. Fill in and submit the online Notice of Intent. see: Care and Use of Animals - Approval and Reporting System
  5. Perform the activity as described
  6. Fill in the Completion Advice and send to VSAEC, see: Care and Use of Animals - Approval and Reporting System

End of process.

For information on using the Approval and Reporting System, see: How to Use the Approval and Reporting System 

Step 5: Is the activity justified according to the 3Rs?

Yes - Go to Step 6.
No - Choose another activity that does not require the use of animals. End of process.

Step 6: Can you ensure that the impact of the activity on the animal is minimised?

Yes - Go to Step 7.
No - Choose another activity that does not require the use of animals. End of process.

Step 7: Apply for approval from VSAEC

  1. Download  and submit an Activity Request Form, by visiting ‘My School’s Activity Request’ in the Care and Use of Animals - Approval and Reporting System
  2. Go to Step 8.

For information on using the Approval and Reporting System, see: How to Use the Approval and Reporting System

Step 8: Has the VSAEC provided written approval before commencement of the activity?

Yes - Perform the activity as described. Fill  and submit the online Completion Advice, see: Care and Use of Animals - Approval and Reporting System.
End of Process.
No - Do not commence planned activity until approval is granted. End of Process.