There are five categories of approved activities involving animals. Activities that are not listed in these categories of animal use, or that are different from the activities described in Species information, must not be carried out without prior written approval from the Schools Animal Care and Ethics Committee (SACEC). The application must be submitted on the designated application form (see Application forms).
Category 1 activities are permitted by all students and teachers with due care for the welfare of the animal.
Category 2 activities may be conducted by students who have received appropriate instruction before commencing the activity.
Category 3 activities require a higher level of student skill than Category 2 activities before they are attempted. They must be justified by the Board syllabus for that course. These activities require the formal approval of the Animal Welfare Liaison Officer (AWLO) within the school.
Categories 4 and 5
Categories 4 and 5 must be justified by the syllabus. All these activities have the potential to cause distress. Some of these activities are painful to the animal, even when done properly. If done incorrectly, the pain and distress are very significant.
Category 4 activities may be undertaken by students only if prior written approval from the SACEC has been obtained by applying on Application form 1 (pdf 375kb) if a class activity or Application form 2 (pdf 337kb) if a research project. The teacher must have a high level of skill attained by either specialised training or relevant experience that has led to the level of competency.
Category 5 activities may be undertaken by students only if prior written approval has been obtained from the SACEC, by applying on Application form 1 (pdf 375kb) if a class activity or Application form 2 (pdf 337kb) if a research project. The teacher must be accredited by a recognised authority or have demonstrated equivalent competency.
Before demonstrating to students a category 5 activity, the teacher must have written certification from the SACEC (a three-yearly certification). Certification should be requested by completing Application form 4 (pdf 302kb).
In general, the greater the potential impact on the animal, the greater the educational justification and the expertise required of teachers and students.
There is also a list of activities that are not permitted to be carried out by teachers or students, in the context of educational programs associated with the school, under any circumstances (see Prohibited activities).
Some agricultural procedures are accepted by the general community despite the pain and distress they cause to the animals. The justification for teaching these relates to vocational training.
A full list of the approved activities and their respective categories can be viewed at Categories of activities.
More information about categories of activities, educational justification and approval processes can be found in Guidelines and Application forms.