What is the University’s policy on animal welfare?

The University of Newcastle is committed to the highest standard of ethical practice in animal based teaching and research.

The University has established an Animal Care & Ethics Committee to oversee the care and use of animals, and to ensure that these activities meet the requirements of the regulatory framework.  The ACEC plays an important role in reviewing applications for research and teaching where animals are involved.  The ACEC is also responsible for monitoring approved activities in accordance with legislative requirements. The ACEC has a specific Animal Care and Ethics Committee Procedure which governs the Committee in its decision-making and review of animal use in research.

The Animal Care and Ethics Committee (ACEC) reports to the University of Newcastle Council, the primary governing body of the University of Newcastle. The ACEC is responsible for the consideration of ethical and welfare aspects as well as the scientific or educational value of the use of animals for research and teaching purposes.

Its membership includes the following categories that are defined in the Australian Code for the care and use of animals for scientific purposes 8th edition 2013:

  • Category A: Veterinarians - persons with qualifications in veterinary science that are recognised for registration as a veterinary surgeon in Australia, and with experience relevant to the University’s activities or the ability to acquire relevant knowledge.
  • Category B: Researchers - persons with substantial and recent experience in the use of animals for scientific purposes relevant to the institution and the business of the ACEC. This must include possession of a higher degree in research or equivalent experience.
  • Category C: Animal welfare members - persons with demonstrable commitment to, and established experience in, furthering the welfare of animals, who is not employed by or otherwise associated with the institution, and who is not currently involved in the care and use of animals for scientific purposes. Veterinarians with specific animal welfare interest and experience may meet the requirements of this category. While not representing an animal welfare organisation, the person should, where possible, be selected on the basis of active membership of, and endorsement by, such an organisation.
  • Category D: Independent members - persons not employed by or otherwise associated with the institution and who has never been involved in the use of animals in scientific or teaching activities, either in their employment or beyond their undergraduate education. Category D members should be viewed by the wider community as bringing a completely independent view to the ACEC, and must not fit the requirements of any other category.