View Current

Animal Care and Ethics Committee - Membership and Terms of Reference

This is the current version of this document. To view historic versions, click the link in the document's navigation bar.

Section 1 - Establishment

(1) Established in accordance with the provisions of the Animal Research Act 1985 (the Act) and Animal Research Regulation 1995 (the Regulation).

Top of Page

Section 2 - Membership

Composition

(2) The membership of the Animal Care and Ethics Committee (the Committee) shall be:

  1. Presiding Officer;
  2. three members from Category A;
  3. three members from Category B;
  4. three members from Category C; and
  5. three members from Category D.

Category A

(3) A person with qualifications in veterinary science and with experience relevant to the activities of the institution. Veterinarians who lack this experience must familiarise themselves with the biology and clinical characteristics of the species of animals used.

Category B

(4) A suitably qualified person with substantial recent experience in the use of animals in scientific or teaching activities. This will usually entail possession of a higher degree in research;

Category C

(5) A person 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 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 nomination by, such an organisation.

Category D

(6) A person who is both independent of 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 Committee, and must not fit the requirements of any other Category.

Term of Office

(7) The term of appointment for members of the Committee shall be two years.

(8) Members are appointed by invitation from the Vice-Chancellor of Charles Sturt University (the University) following consultation with the Presiding Officer and their appointment approved by the Animal Research Review Panel.

(9) The two-year term of the office of the Committee members shall end on 30 June of the relevant year.

(10) Re-appointment is by invitation from the Vice-Chancellor and approval by the Animal Research Review Panel.

Presiding Officer and Deputy Presiding Officer

(11) The Presiding Officer shall hold a senior position in the University and be an additional appointment to Category A to D members.

(12) The Presiding Officer shall be appointed by the Vice-Chancellor of the University for a term of no more than three years.

(13) The Presiding Officer shall have an understanding of the ethical and animal welfare issues involved in the use of animals for scientific purposes. It is desirable that the Presiding Officer shall also have a background in research.

(14) The Deputy Presiding Officer shall be elected by the Committee at its first meeting of the new term of office.

Executive of the Animal Care and Ethics Committee

(15) The Committee shall appoint an Executive which shall comprise the Presiding Officer, one Category A member, one Category C member and one Category D member.

(16) The Executive of the Animal Care and Ethics Committee shall be appointed by the Committee at its first meeting of the new term of office.

Right of Audience and Debate

(17) The following position holders shall have right of audience and debate at meetings of the Committee:

  1. Faculty Technical Manager, Faculty of Science; and
  2. Manager Preclinical Centre, School of Animal and Veterinary Sciences.

Confidentiality

(18) The content of all applications to, and deliberations of, the Committee, are confidential to the Committee and the Secretariat, as well as other authorised senior members of the University where required.

Top of Page

Section 3 - Terms of Reference

Committee

(19) The Committee shall:

  1. provide oversight of activities relating to the care and use of animals, as specified by the Australian Code for the care and use of animals for scientific purposes (the Code) and any other required statutory instrument, and advise the University on identified compliance issues;
  2. recommend for approval and implementation by the relevant University delegate guidelines for the care of animals that are bred, held and used for scientific purposes by researchers and teachers in the University;
  3. monitor the acquisition, transportation, production, housing, care, use and fate of animals;
  4. recommend to the University any measures needed to ensure that the standards of the Code are maintained;
  5. require that all members declare any conflict of interest;
  6. examine and approve, approve subject to modification, or reject written proposals relevant to the use of animals for scientific purposes;
  7. approve only those studies for which animals are essential and justified and which conform to the requirements of the Code. This should take into consideration factors including ethics, the impact on the animal or animals and the anticipated scientific or educational value;
  8. withdraw approval for any project;
  9. authorise the emergency treatment or euthanasia of any animal;
  10. examine and comment on all institutional plans and policies that may affect the welfare of animals used for scientific purposes;
  11. maintain a record of proposals and projects;
  12. maintain minutes that record decisions and other aspects of the Committee's operation;
  13. comply with the reporting requirements of the University and the Code as follows:
    1. submit a written report on its activities at least annually to the Finance, Audit and Risk Committee of the University Council through the Faculty ManagerFaculty OfficerDeputy Vice-Chancellor (Research, Development and Industry); and
    2. submit a written report at least quarterly on issues relevant to compliance in the area of animal care and ethical use for scientific purposes to the Finance, Audit and Risk Committee of the University Council through the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research, Development and Industry);
  14. deal with instances of non-compliance with the Code to ensure that the processes are fair and effective, and that there is appropriate reporting to the University;
  15. refer irreconcilable differences between the Committee and an investigator or teacher to the University Council for review of the due process. The ultimate decision of the Committee after such review must not be overridden; and
  16. perform all other duties imposed by the Act or the Regulation, including the Code prescribed under the Regulation.

Presiding Officer

(20) The Presiding Officer shall:

  1. guide the operations of the Committee with impartiality;
  2. ensure that the Committee operates in accordance with the principles and requirements of the Code, the relevant policies of the University and the agreed Committee procedures;
  3. ensure that proposals are considered by the Committee and the outcomes conveyed to investigators and teachers in a timely manner;
  4. advise the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research, Development and Industry) regarding the level of resourcing required by the Committee;
  5. represent the Committee in any negotiations with management;
  6. oversee all requirements of the Committee to report and reviews its operation, as outlined in the Code;
  7. ensure that Committee records are maintained and made available for review by the University and authorised external reviewers; and
  8. comply with the reporting requirements of the University and the Code as follows:
    1. meet with the Vice-Chancellor annually to report on the operations of the Committee and raise any issues.

Deputy Presiding Officer

(21) The Deputy Presiding Officer shall preside at meetings from which the Presiding Officer is absent.

Executive of the Animal Care and Ethics Committee

(22) The Executive of the Committee may approve minor modifications to projects for review at the next Committee meeting.

(23) The Executive of the Committee may not approve new proposals.

Secretariat

(24) The Office of Governance and Corporate Affairs will provide the secretariat function to the Committee.

(25) A Governance Officer will be appointed to support the Committee in the administration of its business, including the following responsibilities:

  1. being the first point of contact for applicants wishing to make application or liaise with the Committee;
  2. ensuring that proposals are considered by the Committee and that the decisions of the Committee are conveyed to investigators and teachers in a timely manner;
  3. ensuring that Committee records are maintained and made available for review by the University and authorised external reviewers;
  4. ensuring that the University submits the appropriate licence applications, renewals and reports as required; and
  5. where requested by the Committee, arranging inspections for Committee members of the facilities that house and use animals for scientific purposes at least annually, or prior to use in the case of any proposed new facility.