Part 2 Definitions

This is Part 2 of the Code of Practice for the Housing and Care of Laboratory Mice, Rats, Guinea Pigs and Rabbits.

Abnormal Stereotypy: A repeated sequence of movements, which has no obvious function.

Animal Ethics Committee (AEC): A committee, the principal function of which is to determine the ethical and animal welfare practices that are to apply to the carrying out of scientific procedures. This committee must be constituted in accord with the terms of references and membership laid down in The Australian Code.

Animal welfare: An animal's quality of life based on an assessment of an animal's physical and psychological state as an indication of how the animal is coping with its circumstances.

Best practice: Best practice is that which is agreed at a particular time, following consideration of scientific information and accumulated experience. It is a higher standard of practice than the minimum standard.

Clone: A genetic copy of another living or dead animal. It is not a twin derived from the fertilisation of an egg by a sperm.

Euthanasia: The humane killing of an animal, in the interests of its own welfare, to alleviate pain and distress (see humane killing).

Genetic modification (of an animal): The use of any technique for the modification of genes or other genetic material, but not including the use of natural processes such as sexual reproduction.

Genotype: The genetic constitution of an individual.

Humane killing: The process of killing an animal with minimal pain and distress (see Euthanasia).

Investigator or teacher: Any person who uses animals for scientific procedures.

Microbiological Barrier: a combination of animal handling procedures and housing which enables the animals' microbiology to remain constant over time (such as biocontainment or bioexclusion).

Phenotype: Appearance and behaviour of an organism resulting from interaction between its genome and its environment.

Project: A single program of scientific procedures as defined under Section 25 of The Act.

Standard Operating Procedure (SOP): Detailed description of a standardised procedure.

The Act: The Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act 1986.

The Australian Code: The Australian Code for the Care and Use of Animals for Scientific Purposes (current edition).


  • AEC: Animal Ethics Committee
  • ACH: Air changes per hour
  • ANZCCART: Australian and New Zealand Council for the Care of Animals in Research and Teaching
  • ANZSLAS: Australian and New Zealand Society for Laboratory Animal Science
  • AQIS: Australian Quarantine Inspection Service
  • AVA: Australian Veterinary Association
  • IATA: International Air Transport Association
  • IBC: Institutional Biosecurity Committee
  • IVCs: Individually Ventilated Cages (such as, microisolators)
  • NHMRC: National Health and Medical Research Council
  • OGTR: Office of the Gene Technology Regulator
  • PC: Physical Containment (level).
Page last updated: 14 Jul 2020