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Resources to support animal ethics applications

Resources for staff and students involved in animal research.

New to animal research and teaching?

These links are a good place to start when considering the use of animals in research and teaching.

The 3Rs: Replacement, Reduction and Refinement

All researchers and teachers using animals for scientific purposes are required to consider the guiding principles of the 3 Rs: Replacement, Reduction and Refinement.


Investigators and teachers are required by the Code of Practice to consider the principle of replacement of animals with alternative models where possible.


The Code of Practice indicates that applicants are required to consider the principle of reduction to minimise the number of animals used for scientific purposes.


The Code of Practice indicates that applicants are required to consider the principle of refinement to minimise the adverse impact of the intended project on animals.

The Australian and New Zealand Council for the Care of Animals in Research and Teaching (ANZCCART) and the Ministry for Primary Industries have produced a series of booklets on the application of the 3Rs (replacement, reduction and refinement) in the use of animals in research and teaching.

Has the research been done before?

Consideration of the 3Rs includes reviewing whether the proposed research activities have been conducted previously.

Go3R provides a semantic Internet search engine for alternative methods to animal testing and will enable researchers, supervisors and the AEC to check if the research has been done before.

For more information visit the Go3R website.

Care of animals in research and teaching

The Code of Practice indicates that researchers and teachers have personal responsibility for all matters related to the welfare of the animals they use.

  • Environmental enrichment - External link
    This site provides useful links to learn about improving environments or maintaining appropriate environments for animals used for research and teaching.
  • Housing and care of laboratory animals - External link
    Use this site's links to get some information on dos and don'ts related to animal housing, animal care and welfare.

Do you have any other useful information or websites that could assist other researchers, teachers, supervisors or AEC members? Email the Research Ethics Team and let us know.

Accidental bycatch forms

If your research or teaching activity only involves invertebrate animals, then you do not need to complete an application for ethics approval.

However, if it is likely that vertebrate animals may be caught accidentally, the bycatch forms will need to be completed and returned to the Research Ethics Team for review by the Animal Ethics Committee.

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