Scientific Procedures Premises Licence
A Scientific Procedures Premises Licence (SPPL) authorises the use of scientific premises for scientific procedures.
'Scientific premises' are defined as those premises ordinarily used for scientific procedures, for example research laboratories. If scientific procedures are conducted at other sites, for example commercial farms or veterinary clinics, a Scientific Procedures Fieldwork Licence (SPFL) is required.
Scientific premises must be listed on the licence and are regularly inspected by:
- Animal Welfare Victoria
- Animal Ethics Committee (AEC).
The licence nominee
This is the individual nominated by the applicant or licence holder to be responsible for procedures under a Scientific Procedures Premises Licence. The nominee is also responsible for ensuring all facilities and equipment are clean, safe for animals and in good repair.
The licence nominee is the first point of contact for Animal Welfare Victoria 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
- Animal Ethics Committee composition and conduct.
If the licence applicant is a natural person they must nominate themselves for this role. All nominees must have suitable authority to execute their obligations.
Breeding of specified animals
The Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act 1986 (POCTA Act) requires that the breeding of 'specified animals' (laboratory rats, mice, guinea pigs, rabbits and non-human primates) for use in scientific procedures be authorised by a licence.
There are two types of licences that can authorise the breeding of specified animals:
- Scientific Procedures Premises Licence – where a scientific procedures licence holder is breeding for its internal use
- Specified Animals Breeding Licence – where breeding is undertaken to supply to other licence holders.
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 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 is 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's Australian code for the care and use of animals for scientific purposes 8th edition 2013
- Victorian Code of Practice for the housing and care of laboratory mice, rats, guinea pigs and rabbits.
Full details of the Scientific Procedures Premises Licence conditions may be found under Regulation 107 of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Regulations 2019.
Extensive penalties are provided for under the POCTA Act for breaches of licence conditions.
Download the Victorian Code of Practice:
- Code of Practice for the housing and care of laboratory mice, rats, guinea pigs and rabbits (PDF - 698.2 KB)
- Code of Practice for the housing and care of laboratory mice, rats, guinea pigs and rabbits (WORD - 1.1 MB)