Scientific Procedures Fieldwork Licence (SPFL) - Victoria

Service summary

You may require this licence if you intend to carry out scientific research involving animals. Ordinarily, the cruel treatment of animals, including scientific testing, is strictly prohibited under animal welfare laws.

A Scientific Procedures Fieldwork Licence authorises the holder to carry out certain scientific procedures on an animal which would otherwise be illegal. It is used to authorise the use of alternative premises or locations such as:

  • the use of production animals on farms
  • intermittent use of Scientific Premises licensed under a Scientific Procedures Premises Licence held by another institution
  • the use of non-captive animals in the wild.

Examples of such scientific procedures include:

  • surgical, medical, psychological, chemical or physical treatment
  • unusual conditions of heat, cold, light, dark confinement, noise, isolation or overcrowding
  • abnormal dietary conditions
  • electric shock or radiation treatment.

The following organisations are exempt from licence fees:

  • not-for-profit organisation that have five or less full-time equivalent employees
  • registered schools
  • children's services.

Specific approval under this licence is required if you intend to carry out scientific procedures on any of the following animals:

  • gorilla
  • chimpanzee
  • bonobo
  • orang-utan.

This approval will only be granted if the scientific procedure is in the best interest of those specific animals or for the protection of human health and the objective cannot be achieved by any other means.

Please consult the responsible agency for more information and to ascertain the level of compliance (if any) that may be required.

Service type


A licence defines the need to obtain recognition / certification and registration to undertake a certain business activity.

Eligibility requirements

To be eligible for this licence you must:

  • apply as an individual or on behalf of a legal entity (a licence cannot be issued to an unincorporated association)
  • have an agreement with an Animal Ethics Committee (AEC) to be nominated to oversee animal use for the licence
  • have your proposed scientific procedures, premises/location and personnel approved by your nominated Animal Ethics Committee
  • nominate a person to be responsible for the procedures to be carried out (a Licence Nominee)
  • pay any required fees.

Consideration will be given to applications for a licence to conduct Scientific Procedures in Victoria to from interstate applicants, with decisions made on a case by case basis. Applicants with Licence Nominees and/or Animal Ethics Committees (AEC) based interstate will need to demonstrate an ability to provide supervision and control of licence activities commensurate with the level of risk to animal welfare.

Additional conditions will be placed on licences using interstate AEC's stating that the licence holder must provide on request a copy of any interstate regulatory inspection report on the activities and functioning of a nominated AEC relevant to Scientific Procedures conducted in Victoria.

Please consult the responsible agency for more information regarding eligibility requirements.

Ongoing requirements

A licence holder wishing to conduct scientific procedures must apply for approval for the project to the nominated AEC. The licence holder must ensure that the Bureau of Animal Welfare is notified of fieldwork after approval by the AEC and prior to commencement of any scientific procedures.

All practices carried-out under the licence must be in compliance with:

  • the National Health and Medical Research Council Australian Code of practice for the care and use of animals for scientific purposes
  • the Victorian Code of practice for the housing and care of laboratory mice, rats, guinea pigs and rabbits
  • the Code of practice for the use of animals from municipal pounds in scientific procedures.

You will also be required to fulfil record keeping requirements and ensure that your premises comply with minimum standards. Please consult the responsible agency for further information on licence requirements.


The duration of the licence is for a period of 1, 2 or 3 years.



One year. Fees for 2016-17.

Application$710.95Two years. Fees for 2016-17.
Application$974.40Three years. Fees for 2016-17.
Application$1,237.85Four years. Fees for 2016-17.
Renewal$740.20Two years. Fees for 2016-17.
Renewal$959.05Three years. Fees for 2016-17.
Renewal$1,179.30Four years. Fees for 2016-17.

One year. Fees for 2016-17.

Other resources

Administering agency

Department of Economic Development, Jobs, Transport and Resources

Act(s) name

Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act 1986 (Victoria)

Regulation(s) name

Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Regulations 2008 (Victoria)

Contact details

Licensing and Audit
Department of Economic Development, Jobs, Transport and Resources

Operating address:
475 Mickleham Road
Attwood, Victoria 3049


02 9217 4425

Supporting information


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