About the Victorian Schools Animal Ethics Committee
Roles and responsibilities
The purpose of the Victorian Schools Animal Ethics Committee (VSAEC) is to ensure on behalf of the department that all activities relating to the use and care of animals for scientific purposes by schools is ethically acceptable and conducted in accordance with the (the Australian code).
The Australian code covers the care and use of animals in teaching activities where the ‘scientific purpose’ is to impart or demonstrate knowledge or techniques to achieve an educational outcome in science, as specified in the relevant curriculum or competency requirement. The VSAEC provides competent, fair and timely review of applications and reports related to the care and use of animals in government, Catholic and independent schools in Victoria.
Each year, the VSAEC meets quarterly to assess applications from schools and, if required, more frequently, to assess new applications, monitor ongoing projects, evaluate completion advice and meet other mandated responsibilities.
The Australian code stipulates a prescribed committee membership. The VSAEC comprises:
- Category A: veterinarians with relevant experience
- Category B: persons with substantial recent scientiﬁc or teaching experience in the use of animals
- Category C: independent persons not involved in the scientiﬁc use of animals who have a demonstrable commitment to, and established experience in, furthering the welfare of animals
- Category D: independent persons who have not been involved in the use of animals in scientiﬁc or teaching activities and who are independent of the institution
- Category E: persons responsible for the routine care of animals from within the institution
- Executive Ofﬁcer
- Independent Schools Victoria representative
- Catholic education representative
Decisions on applications can be made by the VSAEC only at meetings where at least one representative from each of the categories A to D are present. In deciding on the approval of a project, the VSAEC will discuss the application and Category A to D members vote. Decisions to approve must be by consensus.
Terms of reference
Reviewed 11 October 2022