Scientific Procedures licences and Animal Ethics Committees
Applicants for Scientific Procedures licences must have an agreement with a properly constituted and functioning Animal Ethics Committee (AEC) to oversee animal use for the licence. The nominated AEC will be listed on the licence and no other AEC may be used. A properly constituted and functioning Animal Ethics Committee is one conforming to the National Health and Medical Research Council Australian Code for the care and use of animals for scientific purposes 8th edition 2013.
The nominated AEC may be established by the licence holder or be an AEC run by another institution. In either case, responsibility for the conduct of the AEC remains with the licence holder. If the AEC does not operate in a legal manner, the licence holder must alter the AEC practices or cease to use that AEC. If an AEC is no longer used the licence holder must stop operations with animals until a replacement AEC can be found and an application made to the Department of Economic Development, Jobs, Transport and Resources (DEDJTR) to have the replacement AEC accepted and listed on the licence.
A licence holder wishing to conduct Scientific Procedures must apply for approval for the project from the nominated AEC. An application will consist of a completed form that will provide the Committee with sufficient information to assess whether the potential gain provided by the work is worth the impact on animal welfare. Information requested will include: detail and context of the planned procedures; the personnel involved and their levels of training; animal acquisition, housing and monitoring; as well as implementation of the principles of "the 3 Rs".
Organisations or individuals undertaking activities not approved by an AEC, or under the approval of an improperly constituted or functioning AEC are liable to prosecution.
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