Animals used in research and teaching
In Victoria, the use of animals for research and teaching is regulated by Part 3 of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act 1986 (POCTA) and Part 5 of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Regulations 2019.
The purpose of the Act is to prevent cruelty to animals; to encourage the considerate treatment of animals; and to improve the level of community awareness about the prevention of cruelty to animals.
Under the POCTA, the use of animals in research or teaching in Victoria must be licensed by Animal Welfare Victoria.
Announcement: The Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Regulations 2008 have expired, and were replaced by the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Regulations 2019 on 14 December 2019.
The Regulations prescribe the conditions for scientific procedures and specified animals breeding licences. Please note that licence conditions have changed.
Existing licences were reissued on 16 December 2019 due to the change in Regulations. Licence holders will note that conditions are no longer printed on the licence template.
The full Regulations, including new licence conditions, are available at legislation.vic.gov.au.
Changes to licence conditions include:
- Mandatory training for Animal Ethics Committee members
- Changes to record keeping and annual reporting requirements
- Removal of the Victorian code of practice for the use of animals from municipal pounds in scientific procedures and changes to allowable sources of certain animals
- New responsibilities for licence nominees
- Removal of the requirement for Victorian based AECs to submit fieldwork notifications to Animal Welfare Victoria. Interstate based AECs approving projects to be conducted in Victoria are still required to submit fieldwork notifications.
Animal Welfare Victoria is in the process of developing an online training course for AEC members. This will be released in early 2020 and will be publicly accessible and free of charge.
A set of curriculum requirements will also be made available for providers seeking Ministerial approval of their AEC training course.
It is the responsibility of all persons using animals for research and teaching to ensure that:
- they are familiar with the relevant legislation, in particular the Australian code for the care and use of animals for scientific purposes 8th edition 2013
- any work with animals is covered by an appropriate licence
- any work done is restricted to that approved by the responsible Animal Ethics Committee (AEC), and
- they only carry out work in authorised premises.
Phone: (03) 8377 4575