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Animal ethics and your responsibilities

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Animal ethics applies in the evaluation of what should or should not be done when animals are proposed for use, or are used, for scientific purposes. Scientific purposes include all activities conducted within schools with the aim of acquiring, developing or demonstrating knowledge or techniques in all areas of science, including teaching, field trials, agricultural and environmental studies and research.

Biosecurity Queensland - Animal Welfare and Ethics safeguards the welfare of these animals under Queensland's animal welfare legislation, the Animal Care and Protection Act 2001 (PDF, 1.3MB) (the Act).

Any person proposing to use animals for these purposes must:

Governing principles of the Australian code for the care and use of animals for scientific purposes, 8th Edition 2013

1.1 Respect for animals must underpin all decisions and actions involving the care and use of animals for scientific purposes. This respect is demonstrated by:

  1. using animals only when it is justified
  2. supporting the wellbeing of the animals involved
  3. avoiding or minimising harm, including pain and distress, to those animals
  4. applying high standards of scientific integrity
  5. applying Replacement, Reduction and Refinement (the 3 Rs) at all stages of animal care and use:
    1. the Replacement of animals with other methods
    2. the Reduction in the number of animals used
    3. the Refinement of techniques used to minimise the adverse impact on animals
  1. knowing and accepting one's responsibilities.

1.2 The care and use of animals for scientific purposes must be subject to ethical review.

1.3 A judgement as to whether a proposed use of animals is ethically acceptable must be based on information that demonstrates the principles in Clause 1.1, and must balance whether the potential effects on the wellbeing of the animals involved is justified by the potential benefits.

1.4 The obligation to respect animals, and the responsibilities associated with this obligation, apply throughout the animal's lifetime, including acquisition, transport, breeding, housing, husbandry, use of the animal in a project, and provisions for the animal at the conclusion of their use.

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Last updated 02 October 2018