Other Australian Legislation
Page revised: 17 January 2017
In Victoria, the use of animals for research and teaching is regulated by Part 3 of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act 1986 and Part 4 of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Regulations 2008.
Under the Act, an institution must be licensed by the Bureau of Animal Welfare, Department of Economic Development, Jobs, Transport and Resources to conduct Scientific Procedures or breed Specified Animals for use in Scientific Procedures. (Specified Animals are mice, rats, and rabbits not bred in their natural habitat, and guinea pigs and non-human primates).
To obtain a licence, an institution must nominate an Animal Ethics Committee that is constituted and operates in accordance with the Australian Code of Practice for the Care and Use of Animals for Scientific Purposes to approve and oversee the work. Institutions must comply with the requirements of the Code. Annual animal use statistics are required.
The system for licensing animal use for research and teaching in Victoria has 3 licence types:
- The Scientific Procedures Premises Licence
- The Scientific Procedures fieldwork Licence
- The Specified Animals Breeding Licence
Depending on the work done by an institution, one or two of these licences may be required. For the relevant forms, further information or a copy of the legislation visit Agriculture Victoria's Animals used in research and teaching page.
The Animal Care and Protection Act 2001 aims to promote and provide standards for the responsible care and use of animals, to protect animals from unjustifiable, unnecessary or unreasonable pain, and to ensure that the use of animals for scientific purposes (including teaching) is accountable, open and responsible.
A cornerstone of this Act is the responsibility of any person who is in charge of an animal to exercise a duty of care to that animal.
The Queensland Department of Agriculture and Fisheries (DAF) is the government department responsible for overseeing animal welfare in that state.
Those using animals for scientific purposes anywhere in Queensland must do the following:
- Register with the DAF and nominate the Animal Ethics Committee (AEC) that will assess animal use. (Individuals are usually covered if the institution or company for which they work is registered.)
- Comply with the Australian Code of Practice for the Care and Use of Animals for Scientific Purposes.
- Ensure all animal use is approved by an AEC whose terms of reference have been approved by the DAF (this AEC need not be based in Queensland).
- Provide an annual report on animal use statistics to Queensland DPI&F.
For investigators wishing to use animals in Queensland, information is available on the animal welfare web site.
Animal research in South Australia is regulated by Part 4 of the Animal Welfare Act 1985 (SA). Under the Act a person must be licensed by the Minister in order to use an animal for research or experimentation.
The Minister may impose conditions on the grant of a licence, such as requiring a licence holder to consult or seek the approval of an animal ethics committee before using animals for the purposes of teaching, research or experimentation.
The regulations to the Animal Welfare Act 1985 provide that animal ethics committees have the functions assigned to them by the 8th edition of the Australian Code for the Care and Use of Animals for Scientific Purposes (2013).
The Minister is advised on animal research by the Animal Welfare Advisory Committee, a statutory animal welfare body with representatives from industry, academia, government and animal welfare groups. The Act is enforced by inspectors nominated by the RSPCA and appointed by the Minister.
In South Australia, legislation is administered by the Department of Environment Water and Natural Resources.
Applications for a licence to undertake teaching, research or experimentation and information on contacting South Australian animal ethics committees can be found at:
A copy of the Animal Welfare Act 1985 and Animal Welfare Regulations 2012 can be downloaded from this site:
The recently proclaimed Animal Welfare Act 2002 and the accompanying regulations govern the treatment and welfare of animals in Western Australia. The purpose of the Act is to promote responsible animal care and protection, to provide standards for animal care and use, to protect animals from cruelty and to safeguard the welfare of animals used for scientific purposes. The Australian Code of Practice is incorporated into the legislation as the standard for animal care and use in scientific establishments.
The Act is administered by the Department of Agriculture and Food and those who intend to use or supply animals for scientific purposes must get a licence from the department to do so. It also is a legal requirement that all animal use is approved by an Animal Ethics Committee. A public register is maintained of all scientific establishments which are subject to audit by government inspectors to ensure that they comply with the code.
Research on animals is regulated in Tasmania by Part 4 of the Animal Welfare Act 1993 (Tas). In order to carry out animal research, an institution must be licensed by the Minister. A condition of each licence is that institutions must comply with the Australian Code of Practice in conducting animal research.
Each institution must have an Animal Experimentation Ethics Committee, and no animal research may be commenced until it is approved by the institution's ethics committee). The procedures and functions of the committees are governed by the Australian Code of Practice for the Care and Use of Animals for Scientific Purposes. Compliance with this Code of Practice is one of the core conditions for the granting of a licence.
Information on the Tasmanian animal welfare legislation, standards and guidelines can be found at:
Tasmanian legislation is administered by the Department of Primary Industries, Parks, Water and Environment. The Biodiversity Conservation Branch (NCB) of the department has special guidelines for the use of Tasmanian wildlife in research.
Scientific permit information can be found at:
Tasmania's DPIWE animal research page can be found at:
Australian Capital Territory
The Animal Welfare Act 1992 (ACT) Part 4 deals with animal research, teaching and breeding. A person must have a licence granted by the Animal Welfare Authority in order to use or breed animals for research or teaching.
Each licence holder must establish and maintain an Ethics Committee, and an ethics committee may authorise a person employed or engaged by a licence holder to use animals in research or teaching.
Animal Research programs cannot be carried out without the approval of an ethics committee. The Act is enforced by inspectors and authorised veterinary surgeons.
The Animal Welfare Act, which commenced in March 2000, is the legislation governing animal welfare in the Northern Territory.
Research on animals is regulated in the Northern Territory by Section 42 of the Act. In order to conduct animal research, the applicant must be licensed by the Department of Primary Industries and Fisheries. A licence may be subject to conditions in relation to:
- use of animals in the teaching or research
- welfare of the animals used in or bred for the teaching or research
- facilities and equipment relevant to the use or breeding of animals in the course of the teaching or research
- adoption of a specific code of practice.
The Animal Welfare Advisory Committee, an appointed animal welfare body with representatives from industry, academia, government and animal welfare groups, provides advice on animal research issues to the Minister.
Animal welfare inspectors are appointed under the Act, and also include members of the Northern Territory Police Force.
Contact: Animal Welfare Branch (Department of Local Government and Housing)