Research Ethics and Governance Office

Animal Ethics - How to Apply

The Animal Research Act 1985 No. 123 and Animal Research Regulation 1990 No. 403 prescribe how animal research in NSW will be conducted and controlled. The definition of ANIMAL RESEARCH in the Act is very broad and is intended to cover all studies or investigations which use vertebrate animals, other than human beings. Routine animal husbandry operations or veterinary treatment do not come within the definition of animal research. The Act stipulates that people using animals in research must hold an ANIMAL RESEARCH AUTHORITY. These authorities are issued by the SLHD Animal Welfare Committee (AWC) for animal research carried out within the SLHD or affiliated establishments (the Heart Research Institute, the ANZAC Research Institute and the Centenary Institute of Cancer Medicine and Cell Biology). It is an offence under the Act to carry out research without an Animal Research Authority.

Membership of the AWC is in accordance with:

• the NSW Animal Research Act 1985, and

Australian code for the care and use of animals for scientific purposes (8th edition 2013) issued by the National Health and Medical Research Council, the Australian Research Council, the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation and Universities Australia (“the Code”).

The role of the AWC is to ensure that the use of vertebrate animals for laboratory procedures, teaching and/or research is in accordance with legislation (in particular, the NSW Animal Research Act 1985), and that all procedures in which vertebrate animals are used conform to accepted standards of animal care (in particular, those of the Australian code for the care and use of animals for scientific purposes (8th edition 2013). Copies of the NSW Animal Research Act 1985 and the Code are available for study in your Department and in animal research facilities. Senior investigators should be familiar with the provisions of both. These are also available at http://www.animalethics.org.au

Inspection of animal holding facilities is carried out regularly by the AWC to check standards of animal care.