Registering as a user of animals for scientific purposes
If you are intending to use an animal for scientific purposes in Queensland you must be registered with Biosecurity Queensland as a person using animals for scientific purposes and have each activity or project approved by an animal ethics committee (AEC).
You are legally required to register if you wish to use an animal for scientific purposes. Any person who fails to register could be liable for a $43,125 fine or 1 year of imprisonment. Registration, AEC approval and reporting are also required to use the remains of an animal that was killed expressly for the purpose of any activities regarded as scientific purposes for the use of animals.
Who needs to register?
If you use animals (or cause animals to be used) in an activity performed for scientific or teaching purposes then you must register with Biosecurity Queensland. This includes:
- corporations or public authorities, such as
- research institutions
- federal, state or local government departments or bodies
- theme parks
- pharmaceutical companies
- learning institutions, such as schools, colleges, TAFEs or universities.
Corporations or public authorities
In the case of a corporation, public authority or other institution, the relevant legal entity is the appropriate applicant for registration. That is, the body that may:
- be sued
- hold property.
In the case of a school or educational institution, the governing body may register if it is a legal entity incorporating separate schools, districts or campuses. In this case, the legal entity pays a single school fee that covers all the individual schools it represents.
Any person who uses, or causes animals to be used, for scientific purposes and does not work for or study at a registered entity, must register individually. In the case of a partnership of individuals, each individual must register separately as a scientific user.
If you are employed or engaged (whether or not for remuneration), or studying at a registered entity, you do not have to register as an individual. The following also do not need to register separately as individuals:
- an individual working for a registered corporation, public authority or other institution who uses animals in the course of that work
- a student at a registered college, institute, school or university who uses animals as part of their studies.
Overseas or interstate collaborators
An overseas or interstate collaborator does not have to register separately if an existing registrant is prepared to take legal responsibility for their actions and ensures they comply with the Animal Care and Protection Act 2001 (the Act) and Australian code for the care and use of animals for scientific purposes (known as the scientific use code).
For example, an overseas student collaborating on a university activity in Queensland, does not need to register separately if the university is registered in Queensland and takes legal responsibility for ensuring the student complies with the Act and the scientific use code. However the overseas student must register if the university is not prepared to take legal responsibility for the student.
Suppliers of animals
Individuals or institutions do not need to register in Queensland to breed and supply animals to other institutions.
However, entities that breed and supply animals do need to register if they also house or otherwise participate in animals being used for scientific purposes in Queensland.
How to register
Complete the online registration form.
Biosecurity Queensland may ask you to provide further information to make a decision about your application.
The period of registration (up to 4 years) and any conditions will be stated on your certificate of registration.
- Learn more about animal ethics committees.
- Last reviewed: 21 Dec 2022
- Last updated: 21 Dec 2022