Managing approved projects
The Animal Ethics Unit provides researchers with various resources for managing projects that have received ethics approval.
- Adverse Events
- Pain and Distress
- Specific Techniques
- Use of Animals in Teaching Protocols
- Sharing of Animal Tissues
Adverse events or unexpected effects during the conduct of a project
Guidelines for action
NSW legislation requires investigators to promptly notify the Animal Care and
Ethics Committee (ACEC) of any adverse or unexpected effects that impact on
In addition when an animal dies unexpectedly or is euthanised due to unforeseen complications, an autopsy should be performed by a person with appropriate qualifications and/or experience and the ACEC should be notified promptly.
Please refer to the Australian code for the care and use of animals for scientific purposes 8th Edition (2013) on the NHMRC website for further information regarding the above.
Apart from being a legislative requirement, there are practical reasons for advising the ACEC of a problem that occurs during the conduct of a project. It allows the ACEC to assist with any investigation of the problem to ensure that it does not recur. It also serves to educate the ACEC of the potential complications associated with a procedure or study that it has approved.
To assist researchers in complying with this section of the legislation, the ACEC has developed the following resources:
- Adverse events or unexpected effects during projects - ACEC Guidelines (PDF 61 KB)
- Adverse Event Flowchart (PDF 21 KB)
Pain and Distress
The following resources provide assistance for recognising and assessing pain and distress in research animals:
- Perception and measurement of pain - ACEC Guidelines (PDF 180 KB)
- Recognising and assessing pain, suffering and distress in laboratory animals - RSPCA Research Animals Department (2002) (PDF 1.27 MB)
Anaesthesia and analgesia
- Preferred drugs and regimes for animal anaesthesia and analgesia - ACEC Policy (PDF 290 KB)
- Anaesthetic monitoring checklist: Sample document (DOC 19 KB)
- Promotion of the well-being of animals used for scientific purposes - Pain Management: Anaesthesia, Analgesia and Anxiolytics - NHMRC Guidelines
- Blood Collection in Rodents & Rabbits - ACEC Guidelines (PDF 156 KB)
- Removal of blood from laboratory mammals and birds (First Report of the BVA / FRAME / RSPCA / UFAW Joint Working Group on Refinement) (PDF 131 KB)
- Animal Ethics Infolink: NSW DPI - Animal Research Review Panel Guideline - Research procedures: Blood collection
- The Norwegian Reference Centre for Laboratory Animal Science and Alternatives - Saphenous Vein Technique
- Preferred Methods of Euthanasia in Animal Experimentation - ACEC Policy (PDF 60 KB)
- American Veterinary Medical Association 2000 Report on Euthanasia (PDF 156 KB)
Transport and Acclimatisation
- Guidelines for the welfare on animals in experimental neoplasia - ACEC Guidelines (PDF 72 KB)
- UKCCCR Guidelines for the Welfare of Animals in Experimental Neoplasia 1988 (Updated 2nd Edition - July 1997) (PDF 91 KB)
Antibody Production - Monoclonal antibodies
- Animal Research Review Panel Guideline - Production of monoclonal antibodies - Animal Ethics Infolink
- Monoclonal Antibody Production - NHMRC Guidelines
- Antibody Resource Page
Antibody Production - Polyclonal antibodies
- Use of Adjuvants in the Production of Polyclonal Antibodies - ACEC Guidelines (PDF 226 KB)
- Antibody Resource Page
Genetically modified animals
- Care and use of genetically modified or mutant animals in research - ACEC Policy (PDF 27 KB)
- Generation, breeding, care and use of genetically modified and cloned animals for scientific purposes - NHMRC Guidelines
- The Jackson Laboratory Transgenic / Targeted Mutation Database
- Transgenic Animal Web - University of Michigan's 'Links to Useful Resources' web page
- Wildlife research - Animal Research Review Panel Guidelines - Animal Ethics Infolink
- The use of wildlife in research (PDF 55 KB)
Post-graduate surgical training
- Use of animals in post-graduate surgical training - Animal Research Review Panel Guidelines - Animal Ethics Infolink
- Use of animals for training interventional medical practitioners and remonstrating medical equipment and techniques - NHMRC Guidelines
Use of Animals in Teaching Protocols
The use of animals in teaching protocols is governed by the NSW Animal Research Act and Animal Research Regulations.
The legislation directs that an ACEC may approve only those experiments for which animals are essential, taking into consideration ethical and welfare aspects as well as scientific and educational value.
In order to justify the continuing use of animals in a practical class, there must be an evaluation of the effectiveness of the use of animals in achieving the objectives of that class. While the lecturer responsible for the class may have different ways of evaluating the student's achievement of objectives, the ACEC recommends the use of a questionnaire.
To this end, the Committee has developed a pro forma:
ACEC Questionnaire for the evaluation of the use of
animals in practical classes (DOC 34 KB)
The general and specific aims/objectives stated in the questionnaire should be the same as those outlined comprehensively in your application for ACEC approval.
Evaluation is mandatory for new practical classes. Once it has been established that the use of animals is justified, the evaluation may be performed periodically (e.g. for submission with each Annual Progress Report/Renewal Application).
- Use of animals for postgraduate surgical training - Animal Ethics Infolink
- Use of Animals for Training Interventional Medical Practitioners and Demonstrating New Medical Equipment and Techniques - NHMRC Guidelines (PDF 153 KB)
- A Guide to the care and use of Australian native mammals in research and teaching (2014) - NHMRC Guidelines (PDF 1.6 MB)
Sharing of Animal Tissues
The University of Newcastle ACEC regards the use of tissue from freshly euthanased animals by a researcher to be a reasonable mechanism for reducing the number of animals required for research and teaching purposes and, as such, this practice is highly encouraged by the ACEC.
Prior animal ethics approval is not required for this practice provided that:
- The animal is killed as part of another legitimate authorised process (e.g. part of another currently approved protocol, in the abattoir, cull animals as part of normal animal husbandry procedures) AND
- The animal is not bred specifically for the second researcher AND
- The animal is killed ONLY by a person authorised to do so (e.g. under a current Animal Research Authority, because of the nature of their employment etc) AND
- The researcher has no input into the treatment or handling of the animal prior to its euthanasia or death AND
- The researcher has no input into the manner of euthanasia of the animal, or the timing of its euthanasia AND
- The tissue is collected AFTER death of the animal is confirmed. The researcher may be present when the animal is killed and may remove tissues from the animal OR the animal tissue is removed by the person authorised to euthanase the animal and passed onto the researcher OR the whole animal carcass may be passed onto the researcher.
If you have any further questions relating to any of the above information regarding Managing Approved Projects, please contact an Animal Ethics Officer.