Specified Animals Breeding Licence

A Specified Animal Breeding Licence (SABL) authorises the licence holder to breed specified animals within Victoria for supply for use in scientific procedures.

Specified animals are defined in the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act 1986 as:

(a) guinea pig, and

(b) rat, mouse or rabbit, other than a rat, mouse or rabbit bred in its native habitat, and

(c) non-human primate.

Practices that may involve the medical or physical treatment of specified animals or the extraction or derivation of tissues, materials or substances from their bodies may be authorised by the SABL only if they are necessary for the breeding, sale, and delivery of the animals.

Such practices must be carried out in compliance with the licence conditions including the:

The licence nominee

This is the individual nominated by the applicant or licence holder to be responsible for procedures under a Specified Animal Breeding Licence.

The licence nominee is the first point of contact for us 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 holder is a natural person they must nominate themselves for this role. Corporate nominees must have suitable authority to execute their obligations.

The Animal Ethics Committee

An applicant for a Specified Animal Breeding Licence must have an agreement with a properly constituted and functioning Animal Ethics Committee (AEC) to be nominated to oversee the breeding and facilities.

The nominated AEC will be listed on the licence and no other AEC may be used. A properly constituted and functioning AEC is one conforming with the Australian code for the care and use of animals for scientific purposes 8th edition 2013.

A licence holder wishing to breed specified animals must apply for approval to the nominated AEC for:

  • the breeding and related practices
  • the premises to be used
  • the personnel involved

Further information on Animal Ethics Committees.


To hold a Specified Animal Breeding Licence, an institution must legally occupy (own, lease, or hold under formal agreement) the premises used.

Because of the specialised use, breeding premises are subject to increased levels of scrutiny of upkeep, maintenance of appropriate environments, and establishment of emergency systems to protect animal welfare.

Breeding premises are listed on the licence and are regularly inspected by Animal Welfare Victoria as the licensing authority — as well as by the AEC.

Licence conditions

Full details of the Specified Animal Breeding Licence conditions may be found under Regulations 133-134 of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Regulations 2019 (POCTA Regs).

Extensive penalties are provided for under the POCTA Act for breaches of licence conditions.

Licensing forms

Forms are available on the forms page or email sp.licensing@ecodev.vic.gov.au

Page last updated: 16 Mar 2023