Policies, Procedures and Legislation relating to the Welfare of animals used in Research Projects

Policy, procedures and legislation


The following University of Newcastle policy, procedures and guidelines are relevant to researchers using animals at the University.

Standard Operating Procedures

Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) are detailed descriptions of standardised procedures. Where such standardised procedures are used across more than one animal research project it is often convenient for a research group to develop a SOP and obtain approval for that procedure from the Animal Care and Ethics Committee (ACEC).

Once a SOP is approved by the ACEC it can be placed on the ACEC website (with the permission of the research group) and is available to all animal based researchers. If researchers wish to use an approved SOP in their application to the ACEC they simply need to refer to that SOP in their application. This streamlines the approval procedure for both researcher and ACEC.

The Animal Welfare and Training Unit can assist in the development of SOPs and produces generic SOPs for basic procedures which are then available to all researchers.

For further information, please visit the Standard Operating Procedures page in the Animal Ethics section of Researcher Resources.


The use of animals in research and teaching is governed by legislation in Australia. In New South Wales the relevant legislation is the Animal Research Act 1985 and associated Regulations.

The NHMRC Australian Code of Practice for the Care and Use of Animals for Scientific Purposes is incorporated into the New South Wales Animal Research Regulation and is an essential reference for persons using animals in research or teaching.

International Air Transport Association (IATA) Live Animals Regulations (LAR) are the worldwide standards for transporting animals by air and cover issues such as suitable transport boxes and handling.

Other legislation and regulation are also relevant to the conduct of research involving animals, including: