Natives — Licensing


Scientific licences are issued by the Office of Environment and Heritage (OEH) and allow native animals to be kept at school for educational purposes and be transported for holiday care. They only permit the keeping of native animals, not breeding.

Teachers who intend to breed native animals must contact the Schools Animal Welfare Officer to discuss licensing options.


To gain a scientific licence to use native animals at school approval must be sought from the Schools Animal Care and Ethics Committee (SACEC). You will need to complete and submit Application form 3, Application of SACEC approval for an Office of Environment and Heritage scientific licence.

If the SACEC approves your application the Schools Animal Welfare Officer will notify the Wildlife Licensing and Management Unit of the OEH and you will be issued with a scientific licence. There is a licence fee of $50 payable to the OEH.

Teachers who hold scientific licences should note the following:

    • Animals must only be obtained from licensed breeders or keepers.
    • The OEH licensing unit and Schools Animal Care and Ethics Committee (SACEC) must be notified prior to any acquisition or disposal of native animals (this allows the scientific licence to accurately cover the animals held by the teacher).
    • All animals must be maintained in lockable housing appropriate to the species.
    • Animals must only be used for educational purposes and be displayed at the licensed premises.
    • A teacher that holds a scientific licence for the keeping of particular animal(s) at school does not need to hold a reptile or amphibian keeper’s licence for the same animal(s). Reptile and amphibian keeper’s licences are designed for animals that are kept at private residences and are not displayed.
    • The scientific licence does not permit additional animals from the licensee’s private collection to be added without prior approval from the OEH and SACEC. Teachers who keep animals at home under a reptile keeper or amphibian keeper’s licence must not bring these animals to school.

Teachers who hold scientific licences are required to submit a brief report each year outlining the educational use of the animals. This report should focus on the positive outcomes of having these animals as part of the school’s program and be sent to the Wildlife Licensing and Management Unit of the OEH.

blue tongue lizard in person's hand

Blue tongues are the largest member of the skink family.

shingleback lizard

Shinglebacks are the bulkiest of the blue tongue lizards.

bearded dragon

A scientific licence must be obtained prior to acquiring a bearded dragon for educational purposes.