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Who needs to register and why

Why do people need to register?

One purpose of the Animal Care and Protection Act 2001 (ACPA) is to ensure that the use of animals for scientific purposes is accountable, open and responsible. Registration helps achieve this by:

  • providing transparency through a register of registered users, which is available to the public
  • enabling Biosecurity Queensland Animal Welfare and Ethics to engage and consult with registrants by providing newsletters, workshops and other services
  • providing accountability, as the ACPA requires any registered person or institution to report annually to Biosecurity Queensland Animal Welfare and Ethics
  • enabling Biosecurity Queensland Animal Welfare and Ethics to monitor registrants to ensure that people and institutions use animals appropriately and comply with the Scientific Use Code.

You are legally required to register if you use an animal for scientific purposes. Any person who fails to register could be liable for a $30,000 fine or one year of imprisonment.

Who needs to register?

Any person who uses animals (or causes animals to be used) in an activity performed for scientific or teaching purposes must register with Biosecurity Queensland Animal Welfare and Ethics. These include:

  • corporations or public authorities, such as research institutions; federal, state or local government departments or bodies; theme pars; zoos; or pharmaceutical companies
  • learning institutions, such as schools, colleges, TAFEs or universities
  • individuals.

'Scientific purposes' are all those purposes that aim to acquire, develop or demonstrate knowledge or techniques in a scientific discipline, including:

  • teaching
  • field trials
  • environmental studies
  • research
  • diagnosis
  • product testing
  • the production of biological products.

Registration, Animal Ethics Committee approval and reporting are also required to use the remains of an animal that was killed expressly for the purpose of any of the above.

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 (i.e. the body that may sue or be sued, or hold property).

Learning institution

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 causes animals to be used for scientific purposes, or is involved in 'hands-on' work 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 renumeration), 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 ACPA and Scientific Use Code. This includes an overseas student collaborating on a university activity in Queensland, who does not need to register separately if the university is registered in Queensland and takes legal responsibility for ensuring the student complies with the ACPA and the Scientific Use Code.

Suppliers of animals

Individuals or institutions do not need to register in Queensland to breed and supply animals to other institutions.

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.

Further information