Native animals – record keeping
Teachers who use animals must keep clear and accurate records of:
- The number of native animals owned or kept at the school
- Identification of individual animals (enclosure number or name)
- Location of enclosure
- The dates and sources of acquisition of each animal
- Disposal details and dates for each animal
- Feeding records (see below)
- The dates and types of husbandry practices carried out
- The names, dosage and dates of any chemicals administered
- Any accident, illness or injury involving the animals and the veterinary treatment provided (if required)
- Any significant occurrences that adversely affect the welfare of school animals, such as vandalism, outbreak of disease etc.
The type and format of the records maintained will vary from school to school and be dependent on the number of animals kept, number of staff involved in maintaining the records and the layout of the school.
The minimum requirement is a daily diary that is accessible to all staff involved in the care and use of the animals.
Where there are several staff members involved in the care of animals it is essential that there is a mechanism for each staff member to document notes about the general health status of school animals and that these notes are available to all other staff members who may be involved in animal care.
Feeding records must be kept to ensure that each animal is being fed adequately and to allow identification of any unfavourable feeding trends, should they occur. Details should be recorded in a book, spreadsheet or on a feed recording sheet attached to each enclosure. The information recorded should include:
- Feeding dates
- Food offered
- Food accepted
- Date of any significant event, e.g. skin sloughing, any veterinary treatments.