Policy University Management Animals on JCU Premises Policy

Animals on JCU Premises Policy

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This Policy provides direction to the James Cook University (JCU; the University) Community on the management of animals on University premises.

This Policy incorporates obligations to the University and duty holders established by Work Health and Safety legislation in relation to the management of health and safety risks on University premises, including managing the risks associated with bringing animals onto JCU premises.


This Policy applies to all staff, students, JCU affiliates, contractors, and visitors on James Cook University (JCU) premises.

This Policy applies to any interactions with any native or invasive fauna on campus.

The Policy does not apply to the management of farm animals, enclosed research animals, wild dog and pig control programs, and veterinary patient animals.

This Policy does not apply to JCU Controlled Entities, JCU Brisbane and JCU Singapore.


Except as otherwise specified in this Policy, the meaning of terms used in are as per the Policy Glossary.

Animals: any live non-human vertebrates and invertebrates.

Anti-Discrimination Legislation: means the Disability Discrimination Act 1992 (Cth), Anti-Discrimination Act 1991 (Qld) and Guide, Hearing and Assistant Dogs Act 2009 (Qld)

Assistance Animal: means an animal referred to in s9, Disability Discrimination Act 1992 (Cth).

Pet: is a domestic or tamed animal kept for companionship.

University Community: University Community means the members of the Council, the Staff, the Students and Affiliates of the University, as well as those who use the University's campuses or facilities for working, studying, living, and socialising, or other authorised activity.

University Premises: includes any land or facility which is owned, controlled, managed, or occupied by JCU.


JCU recognises the enjoyment and companionship animals provide and seeks to encourage an animal-friendly environment on its premises. JCU also recognises that animals can present a risk to the health and safety of individuals who attend its premises, to animals kept for research and/or teaching purposes, and to native wildlife.

JCU acknowledges that Anti-Discrimination Legislation establishes obligations for the University and other duty holders in relation to Assistance Animals.

1. Animals in Buildings and Vehicles

1.1 Animals are prohibited from being taken into buildings or vehicles due to potential risks including:

  • the animal injuring or distressing people in the vicinity who may be exposed to the animal.
  • the animal introducing pathogens into the vicinity.
  • Contamination in laboratories.
  • the animal triggering allergies or phobias for people in the vicinity.

1.2 The following exemptions apply:

  • Assistance Animals.
  • Animals used to support approved research, clinical and teaching structured learning instances.
  • Emergency services animals.

1.2.1 The handler of an exempt animal may be requested to provide evidence that the animal is an Assistance Animal or has been appropriately trained to perform a task.

1.3 The University undertakes a variety of research and teaching activities that may be adversely impacted by the presence of exempt animals. These activities may also pose a risk to the animal and/or their owner. To ensure the University meets its Work Health and Safety obligations, animal access, including Assistance Animals and emergency services animals, into buildings, restricted areas and vehicles should only be undertaken after the risks are assessed and discussed with the WHS Manager and other relevant persons, and approval given by the WHS Manager.

2. Pets on JCU Campuses

2.1 JCU seeks to foster an atmosphere that welcomes pets and their owners and encourages responsible pet ownership.

Persons who bring animals to JCU campuses must.

  • Adhere to Clause 1.
  • Ensure the animal is effectively restrained and always controlled.
  • Clean up the animal’s mess including faeces.
  • Ensure the animal is not engaging in any behaviour which could reasonably harass or intimidate other persons or wildlife on campus, or cause damage to University property.

3. Non-compliance

3.1 Non-compliance with any of the conditions in sections 1 and 2 will result in the person in control of the animal being requested by JCU staff to remove it from the premise immediately and failing that directed by a JCU security officer to remove the animal from the premise immediately.

3.2 The University may seek restitution for any animal related damage to University property as a result of the animal being on University premises. The repair or replacement cost of damaged property is the sole responsibility of the owner of the animal that caused the damage.

4. Natural Fauna on Campuses Handling Requirements

4.1 Staff, students and affiliates undertaking planned interactions with any native or invasive fauna on JCU premises require one of the following:

  • a Research, Educational Purposes or Damage Mitigation Permit from the Department of Environment and Science (DES); or
  • If the above is not required by DES, a statement in writing from DES confirming a permit is not required must be obtained.

4.2 In conjunction with the above permit/statement, permission from the Estate Directorate must also be acquired prior to any interactions with native fauna.

4.3 Additionally, any research or educational engagement with wildlife will also need JCU Animal Ethics Committee approval.

Related policy instruments

Work Health and Safety Policy

Related documents and legislation


NOTE: Printed copies of this policy are uncontrolled, and currency can only be assured at the time of printing.

Approval Details

Policy DomainUniversity Management
Policy Sub-domainWHS Management

Policy Custodian

Deputy Vice Chancellor, Services and Resources

Approval AuthorityWork Health and Safety Committee

Date for next Major Review


Modification History


Approval DateApproved by

Implementation date

Description of changes


23-114/11/2023WHS Committee07/12/2023Major review. Formerly titled Pets on Campus Policy.Manager, Work Health and Safety




Policy sponsor and approval authority amended to reflect approved policy framework

Quality, Standards and Policy