Get approval to teach with animals

​​Before applying for approval to teach with animals you should:​

If your planned activity is on the list of pre-approved activities, you must notify the Victorian Schools Animal Ethics Committee (VSAEC) of your plans.

If your planned activity is not pre-approved, you must submit a request to the committee and be approved first.

Requests, notifications and completion advice is submitted through the online approval and reporting system

Pre-approved activities

VSAEC has a list of pre-approved activities that are considered ethically sound.

Schools must notify VSAEC of the teacher who will be responsible for the welfare of the animals, by completing a notice of intent in the approval and reporting system. The form will generate an approval number.

When the activity has concluded, completion advice must be sent to VSAEC via the system

Pre-approved activities are:

Activities that need to be approved

If your activity is not pre-approved, you must complete an activity request form and submit it through the approval and reporting system at least two weeks before the committee meets. The committee will meet in 2019 on the following dates:

  • 26 February
  • 21 May
  • 13 August
  • 12 November

You are not permitted to start any animal activities without VSAEC approval.

To download and submit a request form, visit 'My School’s Activity Request' in the approval and reporting system

When approval is not required

If animals are used as pets for environmental enrichment (rather than for explicit teaching purposes), approval is not required. However, your primary concern should be the welfare of the animal, including care during weekends and holiday periods and veterinary care when needed.

VSAEC approval is also not required for formal work experience or agricultural extension work involving routine procedures if all of the following apply:

  • the animals are on their home property
  • the procedures would occur normally as part of routine management
  • the animals are not subjected to anything additional to what would occur in routine management
  • the teacher is competent to carry out the procedure.

Prohibited activities

The following activities using animals must not be carried out in schools or colleges:

  • surgical, invasive or other harmful procedures other than normal animal husbandry operations
  • induction of any infectious diseases or illness
  • production of nutritional deficiency
  • exposure to stimuli that cause abnormal physiological or behavioural responses
  • administration of toxins, ionising radiation and other bio-hazardous materials
  • breeding of animals solely for dissection.

Due to animal welfare concerns, the VSAEC does not approve short term applications for Chicken Hatching of two weeks or less.   

Get access to the approval and reporting system

The animal approval and reporting system also allows you to:

  • view a list of pre-approved activities
  • create and submit a notice of intent for the future use of a pre-approved activity
  • create and submit completion advice after the activity has been completed
  • download and submit an activity request form, if the activity you are planning is not pre-approved
  • add new users to the system.

Government schools

Government school staff can access the system using their Edumail username and password. To access, see approval and reporting system

Principals can edit access to staff as required for the purposes of submitting a notice of intent, submitting an activity request form or submitting completion advice.

Catholic and Independent schools

Once a Scientific Procedures Premises Licence number is obtained and emailed to animalethics@edumail.vic.gov.au, login details are sent to the school prinicpal. The principal can edit access to staff as required. To access, see approval and reporting system

Get help with the system

For instructions, see approval and reporting system user guide (doc - 4.57mb)

For login enquiries, phone the Department service desk on 1800 641 943.

Select option 4 (school technical support), option 4 (assistance with software), then option 3 (assistance with other software).