Animal Ethics in Victoria Classrooms
Last updated: November 28, 2017
The Victorian Department of Education and Early Childhood Development website has information on the ‘Care and Use of Animals in Schools‘.
In 2005, The Department of Education formed the Victorian Schools Animal Ethics Committee (VSAEC) in collaboration with the Catholic Education Commission of Victoria (http://www.cecv.catholic.edu.au/) and the Association of Independent Schools of Victoria (https://www.is.vic.edu.au/ ).
Approval from the Victorian Schools Animal Ethics Committee (VSAEC) is required when animals are used to acquire, develop, or demonstrate knowledge and techniques for scientific purposes in teaching. VSAEC has responsibility for determining what activities involving the use of animals are permissible in schools. If the planned activity is not described in the list of pre-approved activities then an application to VSAEC is required. In addition, if a school uses animals for teaching purposes, it needs to be covered by a Scientific Procedures Premises Licence. Teachers are also required to go through a process of deciding whether the use of animals is justified and so, it is essential that the 3Rs filter is applied.
VSAEC is guided by and helps schools comply with the following legislation and codes:
- Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act (1986)
- Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Regulations (1997)
- Australian Code of Practice for the Care and Use of Animals for Scientific Purposes (2004)
- Code of Practice for the Housing and Care of Laboratory Mice, Rats, Guinea Pigs and Rabbits
Advice on this site and direction from VSAEC, is applicable to all Victorian government schools and those associated with the Catholic Education Commission of Victoria and the Association of Independent Schools of Victoria.