Care and Use of Animals in Victorian Schools

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

​​​​​T​​his information applies to all Victorian government, Catholic and independent primary and secondary schools.

Information on this site will help your school fulfil the requirements of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act and the Australian code for the care and use of animals for scientific purposes, 8th Edition 2013 (the Code).

When planning to use animals, teachers must consider the ethical and welfare issues. For animal use to be justified, the 3R's must be complied with as follows:

  • Replacement – where possible animals should be replaced by, for example, models or ICT
  • Reduction – use no more than the minimum number of animals however, this should not be at the expense of greater suffering of individual animals 
  • Refinement – activities must minimise handling, discomfort, distress or pain in animals 

For all details regarding compliance, including what needs to be approved, see: Compliance

A step-by-step decision making process is available to help plan how you can use animals in schools, see: Decision Making Process​

Care and Use of Animals Approval and Reporting System

The Care and Use of Animals in Schools Approval and Reporting System application allows schools to self-report and comply with animal related legislative and Departmental policy requirements.

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

School principals can access all options on the menu of the Approval and Reporting System. Principals can add other school users to access these options.  For full details, see: Approval and Reporting System User Guide (doc - 4.57mb)

Government schools are covered by common Scientific Procedures Premises Licence. However, Independent and Catholic schools must have a Scientific Procedures Premises Licence before they can access the Approval and Reporting System. To find out more about the requirement, see: Scientific Procedures Premises Licence​ 

New information on using chickens in schools

If schools are interested in using chickens as part of a teaching program, VSAEC has developed the Raising Healthy Chickens (docx - 56.45kb) guide. This is designed to ensure that all teaching activities involving chickens occurs in accordance with the Code.​​​

If schools receive any information or advertising from chicken hatching companies stating that their hatching programs are a pre-approved activity, be advised that this is incorrect. Schools wishing to use chicken hatching programs will need to apply to VSAEC for approval. 

VSAEC meeting dates for 2017

To apply for approval from VSAEC, schools can submit a request through the Approval and Reporting Systemat least 2 weeks before the VSAEC meets to consider applications. 

  • ​21 February
  • 20 March
  • 19 June
  • 11 September
  • 4 December


For enquiries, email:

For Approval and Reporting System login enquiries:

DET Service Desk
Ph: 1800 641 943
Select: option 4 (school technical support), option 4 (assistance with software), then option 3 (assistance with other software).