Activities with axolotls

Information about the approved activities that may be carried out using axolotls in schools.

Axolotls – introduction to activities

As required by the Animal Research Act, the Schools Animal Care and Ethics Committee have prepared a list of approved activities. These activities are those that may need to be carried out in the school setting and have been deemed appropriate, when carried out by a person with the appropriate skill and experience and educationally justified.

The activities have been organised into categories 1-5. The category reflects the potential impact on the animal and requires a greater justification and expertise of those carrying out the activity. Visit Categories of activities for further explanation.

Axolotl husbandry practices.

Axolotls – husbandry

Treatments and remedies

It must be noted that regular aquarium fish remedies are not appropriate for use with axolotls and may be toxic to them. Always consult an axolotl expert before using any treatments or remedies and only ever use remedies specifically for axolotls.

Aquarium Cleaning

Regular aquarium cleaning must occur at least once weekly with a 25% water change. Refer to the environment section for further details on aquarium cleaning.


Axolotls should never be fed at extra intervals. Their feeding routine should always be closely followed and students should be supervised when feeding animals. Observe animals while feeding to ensure they are receiving the correct amount of food. Amount of food is determined by the amount of food consumed in one hour.

Humane treatment of sick, diseased and injured animals.

Axolotls – euthanasia

Approved activities Category
Slaughter/euthanasia of stock 5

Where an animal has become so sick, diseased or injured that recovery is unlikely or undesirable on humane grounds, euthanasia must be arranged with a local veterinarian.


Axolotls may be sold or passed on to other schools or appropriate homes so long as all of their needs can be met. It is not acceptable to kill animals as a form of disposal at any time.

Carcases must be disposed of in accordance with local council regulations.

Axolotls are an introduced species and must never be released into the environment.

Keeping clear and accurate records.

Axolotls – record keeping

Teachers who use animals must keep clear and accurate records of:

  • The number of axolotls owned or kept at the school
  • Identification of individual animals (markings, colour, tank number)
  • The dates and sources of acquisition of each axolotl
  • Disposal details and dates for each animal
  • Diet details
  • Complete breeding records
  • The dates and types of husbandry practices carried out
  • The name, dosage, batch number, expiry date, withholding period and dates of any chemicals administered
  • Any accident, illness or injury involving school 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 and location of the school farm.

The minimum requirement is a daily diary that is accessible to all staff that are 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.

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