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At times, a person, whether a member of the public or associated with the school, may have concerns regarding the care and treatment of an animal under a school's care.

These concerns may be voiced as a formal animal welfare complaint to Biosecurity Queensland or RSPCA Queensland or may be expressed directly to a member of the school staff or to the Queensland Schools Animal Ethics Committee (QSAEC).

Where complaints relate to activities that have the potential to adversely affect animal wellbeing, the activities must cease immediately and cannot resume until the complaint has been investigated and the findings relayed to all relevant parties.

Animal welfare complaints External Link reported to Biosecurity Queensland or RSPCA Queensland will result in an investigation by their investigators who will determine what further action is required.

Schools are required to refer complaints which relate to activities that would normally require QSAEC approval to QSAEC for investigation using the Animal use complaint report. QSAEC must ensure that, where activities are conducted in accordance with QSAEC approval, the activities are reviewed in consultation with all relevant people to ensure that the reason for the complaint is addressed.

As a result of its investigations, QSAEC may:

If investigations determine that schools have been non-compliant with the Animal Care and Protection Act 2001 External Link, the Animal Care and Protection Regulation 2012 External Link or the Australian code for the care and use of animals for scientific purposes Adobe PDF document External Link 8th Edition 2013, penalties of a maximum of 300 penalty units ($126.15 per unit at 1 July 2017) or 1 year imprisonment, may apply. The penalty for cruelty offences is up to 2000 penalty units or 3 years imprisonment.

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This page was last reviewed on 02 Feb 2018

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