Serious incidents involving animals

Advice about what to do in the event of a serious incident that compromises the welfare of an animal.

Incidents where animal welfare is compromised

If an incident compromising the welfare of any animal occurs at the school the following should occur:

  • The immediate needs of the animals must be assessed and attended to by the responsible teacher or other appropriately trained person (such as a veterinarian).
  • Students’ needs for counselling must be assessed.
  • If warranted, the school’s Incident Reporting Policy or equivalent policy should be invoked.
  • Regardless of whether the school’s Incident Reporting Policy is invoked, if an animal is injured or killed as a result of vandalism, outside animal attack or from a malicious act, the Safety and Security Unit of the DoE (for DoE schools) and Animal Welfare Coordinator must be advised immediately and the police notified.
  • The date, identity of the animal(s) involved, nature of incident and actions taken must be documented in the animal care records.

The NSW Department of Education Incident Reporting policy broadly defines an incident which:

  • causes disruption to an organisation; or
  • creates danger or risk that could significantly affect individuals within the organisation; or
  • impacts on the effective operation of workplaces; or
  • attracts negative media attention or a negative public profile for the workplace or the Department of Education; or an incident which WorkCover describes as deemed to be “notifiable” under the Work Health and Safety Act 2011 which must be reported by law.


  • Teaching and learning

Business Unit:

  • Curriculum and Reform
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