Guidelines and Requirements

These guidelines provide help with specific topics relating to animal ethics approval:

This document provides guidance for the classification of the level of invasiveness

These documents provide guidance for researchers breeding mice for use in their protocols:

The Introduction to Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) below aims to provide direction to researchers who carry out research or teaching activities involving livestock. SOPs for specific animals are listed below:

The policy for use of surplus tissue or cadavers:

The NC3Rs Information Portal contains excellent materials on the housing and care of animals commonly used for scientific purposes

  • National Centre for the Replacement, Refinement and Reduction of Animals in Research - Housing and Husbandry

Anaesthesia and post-operative analgesia information:

Approvals need to be supplied for the following:

Use of Schedule 8 drugs

Application for authority to possess drugs of addiction or prohibited substances for the purpose of research, analysis, or instruction.

Visit NSW Health, Pharmaceutical Services for further information.

Additional approvals are required for research which is being conducted in different States/Territories

Click on relevant state to be taken to the link.
NT || TAS || WA || NSW || QLD || SA || VIC || ACT

States and territories
Northern Territory
All research
Wildlife research
  • A permit is required to undertake scientific research on wildlife from NT parks and wildlife commission.
  • Activities that require a permit to undertake scientific research on wildlife include people wishing to observe, collect, survey or monitor wildlife in the wild for research purposes. More information about NT wildlife permits.
Wildlife research

Three permits that may be required:

  1. Scientific permit for research involving the collection or disturbance of protected wildlife. Obtained from Nature Conservation Branch, Tasmanian Department of Primary Industries, Water and Environment. Prior University of Sydney AEC approval is required (copy required). Allow 20 working days for processing time.
  2. A permit for the interstate import/export of wildlife and wildlife products is required to remove protected wildlife from Tasmania.
  3. A permit to take freshwater and marine fish is required if collecting freshwater or marine fish (including marine invertebrates). Contact the Inland Fisheries Service.
Western Australia
Wildlife research

May require a Licence to Take Fauna for scientific purposes

Where proposed activities may have an impact on the value of a World Heritage property or other values regulated by the Commonwealth Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999, the applicant is encouraged to contact the Commonwealth Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities at the same time as making application to the Department of Environment and Conservation (DEC) for research approval under DEC administered legislation.

New South Wales
Native Flora and Fauna Research

A scientific licence may be required (under section 132C of the National Parks and Wildlife Act)  if you wish to undertake an activity or project for research, education or conservation purposes that is likely to result in one or more of the following:

  • Harm to any protected fauna, or to an animal that is a threatened species or is part of an endangered population or an endangered ecological community; protected fauna does not include invertebrates (except threatened species), or fish as defined under the Fisheries Management Act 1994
  • Picking any protected native plant, or any plant that is a threatened species or is part of an endangered population or an endangered ecological community; you will need a licence if you plan to collect voucher specimens for identification purposes, pick cuttings or whole plants, or collect seed
  • Damage to critical habitat.
  • Damage to a habitat of a threatened species, an endangered population or an endangered ecological community
  • Research within the NPWS reserve system.

Prior University of Sydney AEC approval must be obtained. Apply via the Government Licensing Service.

Wildlife research

Researchers undertaking wildlife work must apply to the Department of Environment and Heritage Protection for:

  • A scientific research and educational purposes permit
  • Movement permit (if wildlife is to be removed from Queensland)

Researchers working in marine parks are advised to speak to a permit processing Officer before submitting an application as additional permits or approvals may be needed under the Marine Parks Act 1982 and Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Act 1975.

South Australia
All research
  • Requirements for conducting procedures in South Australia have recently changed. The University of Sydney now holds a licence in South Australia, therefore if you wish to perform a project in South Australia, please submit an application through the University of Sydney Animal Ethics Committee.
Wildlife research
  • Must obtain a Scientific Research Permit from DENR.
    Researchers working with non-native animals, native invertebrate animals, fish and frogs (other than species of threatened frogs) do not require this permit unless the animals have been sourced from a reserve.
  • May need to obtain permits to take carcasses, blood, eggs or tissue samples from protected animals out of the SA.
  • May need permits from PIRSA Fisheries Division if they are studying native fish
All research
  • Complete a 'fieldwork notification' form and return the form to the Ethics Office prior to commencement of any Scientific Procedures in Victoria. A new form must be completed for each new site where the project will be performed. The information collected on this form will be stored by the Department of Economic Development, Jobs, Transport and Resources and used for the administration of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act 1986.

  • Records must kept, for each month, detailing the species, the number of animals used and the source of each such animal.  

Wildlife research
Australian Capital Territory
Wildlife research
  • Under the Nature Conservation Act 1980, the appropriate licence is required for taking native animals or killing native animals. This may be obtained from the Territory and Municipal Services department.