Temporary removal of animals from fixed exhibits

As a licensed fixed exhibitor under the Exhibited Animals Protection Regulation 2010, you must apply to temporarily remove animals from your authorised premises.

There are two ways to do this:

  • Complete Form H – Application to remove an animal from authorised premises each time you want to temporarily remove an animal. This application must be submitted to the Department at least seven days before the proposed removal.
  • Seek approval for multiple temporary removals in accordance with an approved Standard Operating Procedure (SOP). These applications must be submitted 60 days in advance.

Clause 8 the Exhibited Animals Protection Regulation 2010 requires all exhibitors to comply with relevant standards. For this purpose, the following standards relate to exhibitors who remove animals from their fixed display or off-display establishments.

Preparing and submitted a Standard Operating Procedure

To reduce red-tape, NSW DPI can approve a licensee to conduct multiple temporary removals in accordance with approved Standard Operating Procedures (SOP).

An SOP is a set of written instructions that document a routine or repetitive activity followed by an exhibitor. SOPs describe what you will do and how you will do it .

An exhibitor with an approved SOP can temporarily remove animals as required without seeking and waiting for approval each time. This means less paperwork and more flexibility to respond to business opportunities quickly. .


  • provide a process for staff to follow, reducing variation and promoting quality
  • minimise opportunities for miscommunication
  • can address safety and animal welfare concerns more thoroughly than one-off approvals.
  • provide NSW DPI with assurances around the way your business operates.

Applying for an SOP for temporary removal

All Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) for Temporary Removals must be accompanied by a Form H – Application to remove an animal from authorised premises

  1. Prepare an SOP for each species. Occasionally there may be circumstances that justify grouping of species. Justification  must be provided within the SOP.
  2. Submit a copy of each SOP with a completed FORM H - Application to remove an animal from authorised premises.
  3. Submit each SOP and FORM H to: exhibited.animals@dpi.nsw.gov.au
  4. Given the detailed nature of assessing SOPs, please allow 60 days for NSW DPI to assess your SOP.

Fixed exhibitors who temporarily move animals under an SOP approval must still:

  • submit a monthly itinerary for each species (FORM I – Monthly Itinerary) AND
  • update any monthly itinerary if new temporary removals are proposed for that period.

Find out more about submitting itineraries.

A temporary removal approval based on an approved SOP is valid until the end of the licensing year (30 June) in which it takes effect. An application to renew such a temporary removal approval can be submitted at licence renewal time and, if approved, will apply for the whole of the following licensing year, commencing 1 July.

The Department must be notified within 7 days of any revisions to an approved SOP. These changes will be assessed and updated on the  authority holders certificate one approved.

The licensee may not conduct temporary removals using the revised SOP until the Department amends the conditions of the licensee’s temporary removal approval to refer to the revised SOP.

Preparing your SOP

When preparing your SOP, you should provide as much information as possible on how you will temporarily remove an exhibited animal.

Pay particular attention to how you will manage animal welfare and human safety risks. The more information you provide, the faster we will be able to assess your application.

The information below is a guide for what is expected in an SOP.

Document headlineSuggested content
  • A title that clearly identifies the activity or procedure and the species to which it applies.
  • SOP (ID) number (if more than one SOP is used by the exhibitor).
  • Date of issue and/or revision.
  • Trading name of the licensee to which the SOP applies.
  • Signature, position title and signing date for each individual who approved the SOP.
  • Briefly describe the purpose of the work or process.
  • Describe the scope of activities covered by the SOP.
  • Include any regulatory information or standards appropriate to the SOP process.
General Information
  • Species  (common name and scientific name).
  • Number of animals to be removed.
  • Minimum and maximum ages of animals.
  • How visitor educational requirements will be met .
  • Staff endorsed by the licensee to conduct the temporary removal. Include how they will be assessed, e.g. training requirements and how endorsement is recorded.
  • Special considerations (breeding season, gender separation).
  • Number of each type of staff to accompany the animals.
  • Procedure for submitting itineraries.
  • Arrangements for staff to contact supervisors and/or the licensee.
Animal suitability
  • Steps for checking each animal’s appropriateness for transport. Actions to be  taken if an animal is not appropriate for transport.
  • Type(s) and numbers of staff required to carry out each step.
Transport of animal
  • A description of the vehicle.
  • Temperature control and limits and what action will be taken if limits are exceeded.
  • A description of the transport containers and how they will be secured within the vehicle.
  • Details of how the animals will be monitored during transport.
  • Maximum time the animals will be transported.
  • A contingency in case of illness or injury to an animal.
  • A contingency in case of breakdown or accident.
  • A contingency in case of illness or injury to staff.
  • A contingency in case of the escape or theft of an animal during transport or display.
Type of display
  • How will the animals be displayed? Describe each method if more than one.
  • Steps for checking each animal at the venue prior to display, to ensure it is appropriate to be displayed.
  • Actions to be taken if it is not appropriate to display an animal, e.g. contact supervisor, hold off-display at the venue, return to licensed premises, obtain veterinary attention.
  • How long will each animal display session last?
  • How many times might the animals be displayed during a temporary removal?
  • How long will animals be rested between display sessions?
  • How long will animals be rested before the next temporary removal?
  • Type(s) and numbers of staff required to carry out each step/action.

Note: check these meet the requirements of the legislation and standards.

Arrangements for the safety of the public
  • How will interactions between animals and people be managed to keep the public safe.
Length of temporary removal
  • The maximum period the animal will be removed from the fixed display establishment.
Additional Information

Exhibitors should consider:

  • including a risk assessment of the SOP. Examples of risks: Bites and scratches, diseases, injury to animal and public, animal stress from display method, accident during transit, excessive heat or cold, theft of animals and security.
  • using diagrams and flow charts to help to break up long sections of text and to summarise processes step by step.