Under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act 1986, schools must be licensed if they wish to use animals as part of their teaching of scientific concepts. In addition, schools must use an Animal Ethics Committee (AEC) to review their animal use. The keeping of classroom pets does not require licensing or AEC oversight, nor is the practice of routine animal husbandry by qualified or experienced personal as authorised by a Code of Practice (refer to the Acts, Regulations and Codes of Practice page). A "school" in this context is defined by the Act in reference to other legislation - as a registered school within the meaning of the Education and Training Reform Act 2006; or as a children's service within the meaning of the Children's Services Act 1996.
The Victorian Department of Education and Training (DET) has a single Scientific Procedures Licence to cover all Government schools. Independent schools and Catholic Education Comission of Victoria (CECV) schools, however, must apply for their own individual licences from the department. Application forms are available on the Forms page.
DET has established a Victorian Schools Animal Ethics Committee (VSAEC) with representatives from all 3 school sectors. This committee currently overseas the activities of all Government, Catholic and Independent schools Scientific Procedures licences. The VSAEC assesses applications to use animals in teaching, and provides additional advice and guidelines. The DET Use of Animals in Schools website should be accessed for further information. Alternatively, enquiries may be directed to the Executive Officer of the Victorian Schools Animal Ethics Committee at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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