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
Purpose of this policy
To ensure that all Victorian schools comply with legislation, and codes for the responsible care of animals, used for scientific purposes, in teaching.
- consider if they can replace, reduce or refine their use of animals in teaching
- treat all animals with respect and consideration, ensuring that the level of care for animals is maintained over holidays and weekends.
- gain approval from the Victorian Schools Animal Ethics Committee (VSAEC) before animals are used for scientific purposes in teaching, if activities have not been pre-approved
- not use an animal in more than one scientific activity, either in the same or different projects, without approval from VSAEC
- maintain records of animal care and use for audit inspection by VSAEC
- take care to prevent the spread of disease with hygiene and minimal handling of animals
- seek written consent from the parents/carers and students to take animals home beyond completion of a teaching unit
- not keep animal(s) at school if appropriate level of care and welfare cannot be provided.
Note: If a student brings a sick, injured and orphaned animal to the school, a veterinary practitioner or the RSPCA should be contacted to handle the matter.
Related legislation and regulations
Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act 1986 and its regulations of 1997
- Australian Code of Practice for the Care and Use of Animals for Scientific Purposes (7th Edition, 2004)
- Code of Practice for the Housing and Care of Laboratory Mice, Rats, Guinea Pigs and Rabbits
Wildlife Act 1975 and its regulations of 2002
Environment Protection Act 1970, as amended
- Acts, guidelines and codes of practice relating to farm animals and wildlife available on the
Department of Primary Industries.
- For advice and resources for schools including information relating to:
- when and how to apply to VSAEC for approval
- the decision making process when considering the use of animals
- prohibited, pre-approved and approval-required activities
- planning teaching activity guidance
- approval and reporting system
- frequently asked questions and species notes, see:
Care and Use of Animals in Schools.