Activities requiring a licence

Scientific procedures

Scientific procedures includes procedures or activities using animals to:

  • acquire, demonstrate or develop knowledge in a field of science
  • acquire, demonstrate, develop or exercise techniques in a field of science
  • develop or test the use, hazards, safety, or efficiency of vaccines, substances, drugs, materials or appliances intended for use in connection with human beings or animals
  • produce substances or materials for use in any of the above.

All fields of science are covered by the licensing requirements. This includes but is not limited to:

  • medical
  • dental
  • veterinary
  • agricultural
  • behavioural
  • ecological
  • pest management
  • biological sciences.

Animal types

The use of the following animal types and development stages in scientific procedures must be licensed:

  • all fish and amphibians capable of self feeding
  • mammals, birds and reptiles above the mid-point in gestation
  • adult decapod crustaceans
  • adult cephalopods.

Breeding for scientific procedures

Breeding of certain animals for supply to be used in scientific procedures must also be licensed.

These animals are termed 'specified animals' and are:

  • guinea pigs
  • rats
  • mice
  • rabbits
  • non-human primates.

Breeding of these animals for supply to other institutions must be authorised by a Specified animal breeding licence.

Excluded activities

Animal uses that do not require licensing for scientific procedures are:

  • the treatment of an animal for the purpose of promoting its health or welfare by or in accordance with the instructions of a veterinary practitioner
  • the conduct of animal husbandry carried out in accordance with a Code of Practice
  • any fishing activities authorised by and conducted in accordance with the Fisheries Act 1995
  • the collection, taking, banding and marking of wildlife as defined by and in accordance with the Wildlife Act 1975.

Collection, taking, banding and marking does not include the following:

  • use of microchips or PIT tags
  • use of tracking, data storage and telemetry devices
  • removal or collection of body tissue or fluids from live animals for any purpose
  • collection of biometric data such as body weight and measurement
  • electrofishing (unless specifically authorised by and conducted in accordance with the Fisheries Act 1995)
  • humane killing for the purpose of data collection (unless specifically authorised by and conducted in accordance with the Fisheries Act 1995).

Activities requiring additional permission

Additional permission is required for the following activities.

  1. Use of animals for death as an endpoint scientific procedures.
  2. The use of non-human hominids, wildlife, fish or declared pest animals.
Page last updated: 18 Aug 2020