Teachers who use animals must keep clear and accurate records of:
- The number of sheep owned or kept at the school
- Identification of individual animals (ear tag number or name)
- The dates and sources of acquisition of each animal
- Disposal details and dates for each animal
- 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 sheep and the veterinary treatment provided (if required)
- Any significant occurrences that adversely affect the welfare of school animals, such as vandalism, dog attack, outbreak of disease etc.
Castration, tail docking and mulesing all have the potential to cause pain and distress and school staff should consider the use of pain relief for the animals undergoing these procedures. The use of suitable pain relief should be discussed with a veterinarian who is familiar with sheep and advice can be accessed at Flyboss – Pain relief – frequently asked questions.
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 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.