Animal Welfare

Animal Welfare

The Animal Welfare Act, 1999, is intended to prevent ill-treatment or neglect of animals. It sets out requirements for people who are in charge of animals. The Code of Ethical Conduct complies with these requirements and guides schools in the management of creatures in their care. Note that "animal" includes all vertebrates, lower vertebrates (such as frogs and fish), and some invertebrates (such as crabs and crayfish). Fetuses and embryonated eggs in the last half of gestation are also included.

Most activities involving animals at school do not require ethical approval, for example, having a classroom pet, bringing pets in for a visit, simple observation of an animal. These activities are fun for students and educate them in many areas including animal care and handling, animal behaviour and life cycles, the natural world, responsibility, etc.

Any animals at school must receive:

  • suitable and adequate food and water
  • shelter
  • appropriate handling
  • the opportunity to behave normally
  • protection from injury and disease.


Schools are required by law to apply for ethical approval if live animals are used for teaching or research.

Any activity that is more involved than the examples above, or that involves manipulation of the animal, must be approved before the activity begins.

When animals are used for a specific study, they will be returned to their natural habitat or home at the end of the study.

Animals captured on field trips will be returned to their habitat before children/students leave the area.

Native animals will not be kept at Gorge Road School.

Note: that under the Wildlife Act 1953, it is illegal to keep any species of native animal without a permit from the Department of Conservation.


Gorge Road School will

provide suitable hand washing facilities especially on such days as Pet Day, with ample signage of hand washing facilities.