Managing Approved Projects
Reporting is an individual and institutional requirement under the Australian Code to ensure the University is able to maintain accreditation as an animal research establishment.
While research proposals can be approved for a maximum of three years, the authority to use animals can only be issued on an annual basis. Researchers must report on the use of animals every year applying for continuation or submit an end of project report at the completion.
It is the researcher's responsibility to ensure that the required reports reach the scheduled meeting of the ACEC. Researchers should consult the dates contained on the approved authority to determine when the necessary reporting will commence.
If for some reason a project will not proceed in any form after approval has been issued an end of project report will need to be submitted in accordance with the code to notify the committee that the project has not proceeded.
Changes to an Approved Project
The ACEC must be notified immediately should a project differ in any way from that approved, this also includes changes in personnel. Notification using a Project Modification Form must be submitted to the next meeting of the ACEC to alter the project, clearly identifying what changes are being requested for each individual project.
Unexpected adverse events/ impacts
Researchers must also advise the ACEC immediately if anything unexpected, and which affects the welfare of the animals concerned adversely, occurs during the course of the project.
An unexpected adverse event is an event that may have a negative impact on the well-being of animals and was not foreshadowed in the approved project or activity.
An unexpected adverse event may result from different causes, including but not limited to:
- death of an animal, or group of animals, that was not expected (e.g. during surgery or anaesthesia, or after a procedure or treatment)
- adverse effects following a procedure or treatment that were not expected
- adverse effects in a larger number of animals than predicted during the planning of the project or activity, based on the number of animals actually used, not the number approved for the study
- a greater level of pain or distress than was predicted during the planning of the project or activity
- power failures, inclement weather, emergency situations or other factors external to the project or activity that have a negative impact on the welfare of the animals.
Alleviating unanticipated pain and distress must take precedence over an individual animal reaching the planned endpoint of the project, or the continuation or completion of the project. If necessary, animals must be humanely euthanised without delay. This requires the submission of an Unexpected Death Report form.