ACEC-R1: General Information

Animal Ethics Committee: Animal Research Form - General Information

It is the responsibility of the investigator to ensure that all facets of animal care and use meet the requirements of the Australian Code of Practice for the Care and Use of Animals for Scientific Purposes. This includes a responsibility to protect and promote the welfare of animals used.

The Code of practice embodies the principles of:

  • Reduction of animal use
  • Replacement of animal use
  • Refinement of animal use

It is important to consider these principles when designing and carrying out projects.

Under the NSW Animal Research Act, approval by an Animal Ethics Committee (AEC) is required for the use of any vertebrate animals for research and teaching.

In assessing applications it is often difficult for the AEC to obtain a clear picture of what happens to individual animals from the beginning to the end of the project. The AEC must assess the impact on animals of all procedures and of the project as a whole.

The application should therefore focus on what is happening to animals and what is being done to ensure their well-being. It is important that this information is presented in a way that shows clearly what is happening to individual animals from the beginning to the completion of a project. The impact of procedures needs to be clearly detailed. The investigator should provide a step by step examination of all treatments (substances, dose rates, routes, volumes, anaesthetics, surgical procedures etc) and the expected effects. Flow charts or sequence of events tables are often of assistance. In addition, factors that will impact on animals such as housing (type, duration, opportunity for social integration) should be considered.

The application should also clearly explain why the use of animals is justified, why the species and number of animals have been chosen and that the qualifications of personnel are suitable for the procedures to be performed.

It is important for applicants to remember the composition of the AEC. Applications must be written primarily for an interested, intelligent person without a scientific background, not for a specialist. The use of specialist language is not helpful to the committee and may delay processing of an application while explanations are being sought.

Investigators should be familiar with:

  • Australian Code of Practice for the Care and Use of Animals for Scientific Purposes, published jointly by the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC), CSIRO and the Australian Agricultural Council (AAC).
  • NSW Animal Research Act 1985
  • NSW Animal Research Regulation 1995

For more information, contact the Secretary to the Committee:

Belinda Waddell
Governance Officer
Phone: 02 6338 6147
Phone: 02 6338 4194
Office of Governance and Corporate Affairs
The Grange, Building 1205
CSU in Bathurst
Postal Address
Office of Governance and Corporate Affairs
The Grange
Charles Sturt University
Panorama Avenue
Bathurst NSW 2795