Code of practice for the use of animals from municipal pounds in scientific procedures
BUREAU OF ANIMAL WELFARE, ATTWOOD
This document provides information relating to the use of animals from municipal pounds in scientific procedures.
This Code recognises that unwanted/stray animals exist in the community, that the majority of these animals will be humanely killed at a pound and that, subject to the strict conditions set out in this Code, they should be available for. use in scientific procedures as an alternative to colony or purpose-bred animals. This Code does not approve of the use of stray or unwanted identified animals in scientific procedures without the specific written approval of the owner.
Responsibilities of municipalities
- Municipalities should advise all ratepayers of Council policy in regard to the handling of stray, unwanted and abandoned animals, pound access times and the location of the pound. The pound should be suitably identified and access times prominently displayed.
- All owners of identified animals received at the pound should be notified by the Council within 24 hours where possible.
- Council must provide access to the pound for members of the public at specified periods during working hours and at reasonable times after hours or at weekends.
- All animals must be held at the pound for a minimum of 8 days.
- Selection of animals for use in scientific procedures should be made by a veterinarian. No animal identified in any way shall be provided to a scientific establishment, even if unclaimed, except on the written authorization of the owner.
- Animals should not be selected for transfer to a scientific establishment that are sick or debilitated or of a temperament likely to be unsuitable at a scientific establishment.
- A register should be kept by the Council of all animals kept at the pound with a description of the breed, sex, approximate age, colour and distinctive markings of each animal. This register should be available for perusal by any member of the public at the pound, and at the Council offices at any time during normal office hours.
- Council should provide any person who produces satisfactory proof of ownership, including either a registration or vaccination certificate, photograph or statutory declaration, with details of the scientific establishment to which the animal was taken and the date of release.
Responsibilities of scientific establishments
- A veterinarian at a scientific establishment must inspect all animals on arrival from a pound and provide appropriate treatment where required. Animals should be given an individual identification number on arrival at a scientific establishment.
- Establishments must keep a register of all animals received from municipal pounds. The register should be compiled under the supervision of a veterinarian and provide details of breed, sex, approximate age, colour and distinctive markings of each animal and the name of the municipal pound from which each animal was received and the date it was received. Members of the public should be allowed to examine the register of animals from pounds at a scientific establishment during normal working hours.
- Staff experienced in animal care at the scientific establishment should inspect animals at least once daily. A veterinarian should be responsible for the prompt treatment of any animal that is distressed or behaving abnormally.
- Establishments must hold animals received from municipal pounds for at least 21 days (including the 8 days the animal was held at the pound) prior to use in scientific procedures.
- Members of the public with suitable proof of ownership of a particular animal, including either registration or vaccination certificate, photograph or statutory declaration, should be permitted to inspect animals of that description at a scientific establishment at any time in normal working hours during the 21 days holding period. Establishments must surrender an animal to an owner if adequate proof of ownership is provided and then notify the Council of the municipality where the animal was obtained.
- Daily exercise should be provided for animals kept after the 21 day holding period.
- Establishments must keep details in the register of the fate of unclaimed animals received from municipal pounds. the date of commencement of the scientific procedures and the number or other appropriate identification of the protocol for the scientific procedure as approved by the establishment's animal experimentation ethics committee. If the animal is not used in scientific procedures, the date of euthanasia.
- Animals from pounds must not be transferred between scientific establishments.
*Approved by the Governor in Council, 19 April 1988. Lawrence A Fisher, Clerk of the Executive Council.
Government Gazette G47 7/12/1988
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