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

This applies to the following:

  1. death as an endpoint scientific procedures
  2. non-human hominid use in scientific procedures
  3. the use of wildlife, fish or declared pest animals.
Page last updated: 16 Mar 2023