Yes, in certain circumstances. Queensland Schools Animal Ethics Committee (QSAEC) approval is not required to use the remains of an animal if no aspect of the animal's life and death were altered for the scientific purpose, for example, animals bred for commercial food production, animals that have died naturally, or animal organs sourced from butchers. These industries operate under strict work health and safety requirements so animals should be free of disease or infection if they are being onsold for the purposes of dissection.
Although no approval is required to dissect animals that have died naturally, dissecting road kill or other dead animals may pose risks. Animals with some diseases or infections may show no signs of illness, and some illnesses (e.g. Q fever) may be transmitted via aerosols (wet particles) via dissection. The risks to staff and student health must always outweigh any proposed benefits of conducting such an activity, despite the opportunity for a teachable moment. For these reasons, although animal ethics approval is not required, this practice is not encouraged.
Prior to conducting an activity, a risk assessment should take into account any risks to staff and student health.
For further information regarding the use of dead animals, refer to the
Department of Agriculture and Fisheries website.
All users of dead animals for scientific purposes are encouraged to consider the purpose of the
Animal Care and Protection Act 2001 (PDF, 124KB), as stated in section 3, to promote responsible care and use of animals and ensure the use of animals for scientific purposes is accountable, open and responsible.