Using animals for scientific purposes

Page last updated: Wednesday, 5 May 2021 - 2:27pm

Applications for licences to use animals for scientific purposes - schools

Independent schools must each apply for an individual licence if using animals for scientific purposes. Government and Catholic schools that use animals for scientific purposes do not need to apply for individual licences. The Department of Education and the Catholic Education Office each hold one licence that covers all Government and Catholic schools.

Application for a new licence

Where the applicant for a new licence is not intending to use the Schools Animal Ethics Committee, the applicant must follow the process for any other insitution - see next page.

Renewal of a licence or application for a new licence using the Schools Animal Ethics Committee

To meet specific obligations under the Animal Welfare Act 2002 and to allow the Minister to adequately assess applications in accordance with the legislation, independent schools must provide the following documentation and information for both new licence applications and renewal of current licences.

  1. A completed Application for licence to use/supply animals for scientific purposes (Attachment 1). Please note that separate applications are required for use and supply. In the section referring to the place(s) where animals are located, please list all sites as they will be listed on your licence. If you will be using animals for scientific purposes at sites that are not known at the time of application (for example, field research) this must be noted on the application. The details will need to be provided in accordance with the licensing conditions (see the Notification Form in the Documents link on this webpage).
  2. The prescribed fee of $100 per calendar year, or part thereof up to 3 years. Payment can be made by:
    • cheque (made out to the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development)
    • credit card (Attachment 2)
    • payment on invoice (please advise if an invoice is required).

Please note: there are no refunds for licences that are no longer required. The $100 per year fee goes towards the assessment and issue of each licence and therefore cannot be refunded.

  1. Correctly completed and signed statutory declaration (relevant to your State or Territory) attesting to your establishment’s compliance with the Animal Welfare Act 2002 and the Scientific Use Code. (Refer to the list of attachments in the Documents link of this webpage). Under the Act the Minister needs to have regard to a number of matters when considering an application for the issue or renewal of a licence. The purpose of this declaration is to assist the Minister in making their determination.

​It should be noted that the Act prescribes that an application to renew a licence must be made no later than 42 days before the day on which it is due to expire. Renewal applications received less than 42 days before the day on which the licence is due to expire will be considered a new licence application.

Assessing the licence application

The Minister responsible for the administration of the Animal Welfare Act 2002 cannot issue a licence to use animals for scientific purposes unless the Minister is satisfied that:

  1. the scientific establishment either:

    1. has an animal ethics committee, or

    2. has made arrangements for the animal ethics committee for another scientific establishment to act as its animal ethics committee;


  1. the scientific establishment and the animal ethics committee complies with, and will continue to comply with, the Scientific Use Code.

When considering an application for the issue of a licence the Minister must consider the following factors:

  1. whether the applicant and the applicant’s staff are experienced and competent in using animals for scientific purposes and in caring for and handling animals of the kind to be used
  2. whether the applicant has, or any of the applicant’s staff or students have, been convicted of an offence under the Animal Welfare Act 2002 in the previous 3 years
  3. whether a licence (issued under the Animal Welfare Act 2002) held by the applicant has ever been suspended or revoked or the applicant has ever been disqualified from holding a licence
  4. whether the welfare, safety and health of the animals is adequately protected
  5. any information provided in the application, and
  6. whether, in all other respects, the Minister considers it appropriate for the applicant to hold the licence.

Contact information

Scientific Licensing

Further information on reporting animal cruelty is available.


Rick Bryant