Scientific Procedures Premise Licence
A Scientific Procedures Premises Licence (SPPL) authorises the use of facilities for scientific procedures. Scientific premises are listed on the licence and are regularly inspected by The Department of Economic Development, Jobs, Transport and Resources (DEDJTR) as the licensing authority, as well as by the Animal Ethics Committee (AEC). All scientific premises must be inspected at least annually by the AEC listed on the Licence to ensure that the facility is being properly maintained.
Any facility being used to hold animals or conduct research must have a SPPL. There must be a clear line of management of all persons conducting scientific procedures at that premises linking their activities to the SPPL.
For example: an institution owns diagnostic facilities used for scientific procedures by other institutions, but does not conduct any scientific procedures themselves. The facilities are only used occasionally by each institution, although cumulatively the use qualifies the facilities as a scientific premises. Because of the nature of use, none of the users could be held responsible for the premises and would not be required to hold a Scientific Procedures Premises Licence for those facilities (although they would be required to hold a licence to authorise this as "fieldwork"). The premises-owner therefore would be required to hold a SPPL covering the diagnostic facilities and would be responsible for ensuring that appropriate standards are maintained, even though the owner itself does not conduct scientific procedures.
A licence holder may use scientific premises under the authority of its licence whether or not it legally occupies those premises. For risk management purposes however, it is strongly recommended that licence holders establish a formal agreement for scientific premises use, the agreement setting out responsibilities and liabilities of the various parties.
Use of locations other than Scientific Premises
A Scientific Procedures Premises Licence may also be used to authorise conduct of scientific procedures at locations that are not listed on the licence. This use of unlisted locations is termed "fieldwork" and the procedures, personnel, and location(s) must be agreed to by the nominated Animal Ethics Committee as with the use of scientific premises. Standards appropriate to the level of use must be maintained. The licence holder must ensure that DEDJTR is notified of fieldwork after approval by the AEC and prior to commencement of any scientific procedures (fieldwork notification forms are available on the Forms page).
The licence nominee
This is the individual nominated by the applicant / licence holder to be responsible for procedures under a Specified Animal Breeding Licence.
The licence nominee is the first point of contact for the Department of Economic Development, Jobs, Transport and Resources (DEDJTR) as the licensing authority, and will be corresponded with on all matters relating to the licence, such as breaches of licence conditions, licence audits, reporting of animal use, and Animal Ethics Committee composition and conduct.
This person must hold a position in the licensed institution such that they are familiar with the work being conducted, yet senior enough to be able to effect change where necessary.
The Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act 1986 (POCTA) requires that the breeding of 'specified animals' for use in scientific procedures be authorised by a licence. The Scientific Procedures Premises Licence may be used to authorise this breeding for use by the licence-holder only, and under AEC approval of procedures, personnel, and premises. The licence does not authorise breeding of Specified Animals for supply to other institutions. If this breeding for supply is undertaken, a Specified Animals Breeding Licence is required.
In line with the principle of Reduction however, if the number of Specified Animals approved for use in a project under a SPPL are subsequently found to be in excess of project requirements, these animals may be passed on to other licence holders without the need for a Specified Animals Breeding Licence. It is expected that these numbers will be very small.
Breeding of a new strain or hybrid of a genetically modified animal is considered to be a Scientific Procedure, and must be authorised by a Scientific Procedures Premises Licence.
Other licence conditions
All practices carried-out under the licence must be in compliance with the National Health and Medical Research Council Australian Code for the care and use of animals for scientific purposes 8th edition 2013, the Victorian Code of practice for the housing and care of laboratory mice, rats, guinea pigs and rabbits, and the Code of Practice for the use of animals from municipal pounds in scientific procedures. Full details of the Scientific Procedures Premises Licence conditions may be found under Regulation 92 of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Regulations 2008. These conditions will also be listed on the licence. Extensive penalties are provided for under the Act on conviction of natural persons or bodies corporate that breach licence conditions.
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