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Animals at UNE Sites Policy

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Section 1 - Overview & Scope

(1) The University of New England (UNE) is committed to a safe environment for its staff, students and visitors. It recognises that animals on campus can present a range of risks, and acknowledges the right of staff and students to work and study in a safe environment.

(2) A range of local, state and federal legislation, guidelines and regulations are referenced in this policy. These prescribe requirements essential for UNE to maintain its status as a responsible, conscientious organisation that has a genuine concern for the ethical treatment of animals.

(3) UNE has a number of sites upon which animals may be found at any time. This policy provides means of:

  1. defining the UNE sites applicable to this policy;
  2. defining the approved categories of animals allowed at UNE; and
  3. defining the conditions under which approved categories of animals must be kept whilst attending UNE.
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Section 2 - Scope

(4) This Policy applies to any person who brings or finds an animal on all areas of the following UNE sites (unless otherwise specified in this policy):

  1. Armidale Academic Campus;
  2. Armidale Bellevue Campus;
  3. Sydney Campus;
  4. Tablelands Clinical School Campus; and
  5. study centres.

(5) Please note that this policy is not applicable to any sites that fall into the Rural Properties (SMART Farms) category or any public pathways located on UNE sites.

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Section 3 - Policy

(6) The University prohibits domestic animals on its grounds and into UNE buildings and or facilities (owned or leased), including UNE vehicles, unless approved under clause (7) Approved animals, of this policy. Buildings or facilities that are exempt from this policy are:

  1. Trevena House and Cottage; and
  2. Residential units that have an individual connected fenced contained courtyard.

(7) Approved animals:

  1. animals defined as an assistance animal in accordance with the Disability Discrimination Act 1992 in force at the time;
  2. animals used by the University for research and teaching purposes, subject to the approval of the Animal Ethics Committee;
  3. animals that are part of a UNE approved activity kept under controlled conditions;
  4. convalescing native animals under the care of a registered wildlife carer kept under controlled conditions; and
  5. native animals inhabiting the environment.

(8) All persons responsible for any approved animals attending UNE sites are required to comply with this and other applicable UNE policies and procedures and the responsibilities, controls and restrictions outlined in the Companion Animals Act, the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act and all other applicable local, state and federal legislation, guidelines and regulations in force at the time.

(9) Should access of assistance animals be required to restricted areas as per clause (8), approval must be obtained by the designated controller of the restricted area.

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Section 4 - Authority and Compliance


(10) The Vice-Chancellor and Chief Executive Officer (VC&CEO)  pursuant to Section 29 of the University of New England Act 1993 (NSW), makes this University policy.

(11) The Director Estate and Built Environment is authorised to make procedures and processes for the effective implementation and operation of this policy, and to publish as associated documents any tool that will assist with compliance.

(12) Policy Administrator for this policy is the Director Governance and University Secretary, who is authorised to make minor administrative updates to this policy.


(13) UNE Representatives and visitors must observe this policy in relation to animals on UNE sites. Non-compliance may be a breach of the Code of Conduct and may be addressed under the disciplinary provisions of the relevant Enterprise Agreement.

(14) This policy is consistent with Companion Animals ActDisability Discrimination Act 1992 and the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act.

(15) This policy operates as and from the Effective Date. Previous policy on animals on UNE sites are replaced and have no further operation from the Effective Date.

(16) Notwithstanding the other provisions of this policy, the Vice-Chancellor and Chief Executive Officer may approve an exception to this policy where the Vice-Chancellor and Chief Executive Officer determines the application of this policy would otherwise lead to an unfair, unreasonable or absurd outcome.  Approvals by the Vice-Chancellor and Chief Executive Officer under this clause must be documented in writing and must state the reason for the exception.

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Section 5 - Definitions

(17) For the purposes of this Policy the following definitions apply.

(18) Approved animals — Animals that are permitted to attend UNE sites.

(19) Assistance animal - The Companion Animals Act defines an assistance animal as an animal referred to within section/s of the Disability Discrimination Act.

(20) Discretionary special circumstance approval — Approval granted by Heads of Departments/Service Areas for exceptional circumstances only. These must be granted in extreme situations only and should be used with restraint.

(21) Public areas - Any public (non-restricted) areas of UNE sites.

(22) Public pathways - Any public (Local Government controlled) pathways on UNE sites.

(23) Restricted Areas — Areas of UNE sites that are not accessible by the general public through UNE policy or procedure.

(24) Rural Properties — Areas of UNE sites that belong to the Rural Properties category. As listed on UNE's Rural Properties website.

(25) UNE approved activity — An activity that is sanctioned by the University through its policies, procedures and/or guidelines, for example, a research project, an event, animal house stock transfers.