Care and Use of Animals in Act Schools Policy

  1. What is this policy about?
    1. This policy supports the Animal Welfare Act 1992 (the Act), the Animal Welfare Regulation 2001 (the Regulations) and the related Australian code of practice for the care and use of animals for scientific purposes 7th Edition 2004 (the Code) as they apply to the care and use of animals in ACT schools.
  2. Policy Statement
    1. Schools keeping animals for teaching purposes will comply with the provisions of the Act, the Regulations and the Code.
    2. Schools will gain approval from the ACT Schools Animal Ethics Committee (ACT SAEC) for the care and use of animals in schools before animals are placed in schools and until such time as the animals are deceased or removed from the school.
    3. The principal will appoint an Animal Welfare Liaison Officer (AWLO) whose responsibilities are set out in the Care and Use of Animals in ACT Schools Implementation Guide.
    4. Teaching activities will not involve animals unless there are no suitable alternatives to achieve the educational objectives.
    5. Schools will not keep animals for longer than necessary to achieve the planned educational outcomes. This does not apply to animals kept as pets.
    6. Schools will assist students to develop a respect for animals and to understand the ethical, social and scientific issues involved in the use of animals.
    7. The level of supervision of students and other personnel involved in the care and management of animals takes into account the level of competence of each person and the level of responsibilities they are given.
    8. The Directorate, as the licence holder, will maintain records and provide information and documentation to the licensing authority as per the terms of the licence.
  3. Who does this policy apply to?
    1. This policy applies to all ACT public schools, principals, Directorate staff, and students.
  4. Context
    1. The Education and Training Directorate (the Directorate) holds a licence to use or breed animals for research or teaching and the Directorate’s Schools Animal Ethics Committee (ACT SAEC) monitors and maintains records of the care and use of animals in schools.
    2. Schools must be able to provide an educational justification for the use of animals. This may relate to essential content from the ACT Curriculum Framework, ACT Board of Senior Secondary Studies approved courses or additional activities approved by school boards as part of school based curriculum plans.
    3. The Code requires all institutions that use animals for scientific purposes, including teaching, to implement processes and procedures that ensure compliance with the Code and relevant legislation.
    4. Schedule 2 to the Animal Welfare Regulation 2001 lists the animals that may be used for scientific or teaching purposes, without a licence or authorisation, in preschools and primary schools.
  5. Responsibilities
    1. Principal: the principal is responsible for implementing this policy and ensuring compliance with Guidelines whether or not an authorisation from the ACT SAEC is required.
    2. The Deputy Director-General: is the licence holder.
    3. Policy Owner: the Director, Learning and Teaching is responsible for this policy.
  6. Monitoring and Review
    1. The Policy Owner monitors the policy. This includes an annual scan of operation and review. A full review of the policy will be conducted within a three year period.
  7. Contact
    1. For support contact the Learning and Teaching Branch on (02) 6205 9205.
  8. Complaints
    1. Any concerns about the application of this procedure or the procedure itself, should be raised with:
  9. References
    1. Definitions
      • A glossary of terms is located in the Procedures.
    2. Legislation
      • Animal Welfare Act 1992: the Act provides for a system of accreditation, licensing and authorisation for organisations and individuals wishing to use animals for scientific purposes, which includes teaching.
      • Animal Welfare Regulation 2001: Schedule 2, lists the animals that may be used for scientific or teaching purposes in preschools and schools, without a licence or authorisation.
    3. Implementation Documents
      • Care and Use of Animals in ACT Schools Implementation Guidelines
      • Care and Use of Animals in ACT Schools Procedures
    4. Related Policies and Information
      • Australian code of practice for the care and use of animals for scientific purposes 7th Edition 2004.

Care and Use of Animals in Act Schools Policy: CUAAS200906 is the unique identifier of this document. It is the responsibility of the user to verify that this is the current and complete version of the document, available on the Directorate’s website at http://www.education.act.gov.au/publications_and_policies/school_and_corporate_policies/A-Z/.