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Australian code of practice for the care and use of animals for scientific purposes submission

Personal Details
Organisation Name: 
University of Queensland Biological Resources
C. Additional Information
Please identify the best term to describe the Organisation: 
E. Submission
Online Written Submission
Written Submission: 
Specific issues requiring particular consideration
After consultation with stakeholders during the initial phases of this review, specific issues have been identified as requiring particular consideration. Your comment is invited on these issues.
Specific issues requiring particular consideration
5. Should the document include specific guidance regarding the responsibilities of Veterinarians and Animal Welfare Officers?: 

 No, code should provide a framework for institutions and ethics comittees to manage animala ethics and welfare not be prescriptive in exactly who does what

Comments on the issue of whether the code should include - only qualified veterinarians should undertake surgical procedures and anaesthesia are -:

Veterinary School curriculum includes little or No training in surgical techniques of rats and mice,the most commonly used animals in Reserach. There are few experienced vets in this field

At a large university . hundreds of surgical procedures may be performed on a wide range of species.It is inconceivable on animal welfare  grounds that a veterinarian could be more competent to perform  all of these  compared to a resercaher or technician  who has spent considerable time in perfecting and performing the one or 2 techniques necessary for their work. It should be based on competency and experience for that particular technique for that particular species, not qualification

The code should be carefful of advocating the unachievable, where are these experienced vets going to come from ? and who is paying for them .Certainly current Grant funding bodies such as the NHMRC would have to massively incraese Grant budgets to cover the cost of employing Vets.

The devil can be in he detail most animal fcailities for pathogen control purposes, do not allow staff that have been in conatct with animals to move between facilities for 24/48 hrs or even between certain areas within a facility eg SPF. Large organizations with multiple facilitues will need a plethora of Vets if only vets are allowed to perform surgical procedures and anaesthesia.





































6. As a principles-based document, the impact of the revised Code of Practice may be lost if too much detail is included. Comment is therefore specifically sought on whether there is sufficient balance between principles and detailed guidance.: 

 As in Q5 more  detail  or prescription shifts the responsibility away from  Institutions/AEC/Reserachers/Tecahers to find the best way of implementing the code in their particular circumstance and back on to the code. The code cannot possibly cover  every scenario . Keep it general.

10.Comment is sought regarding the proposal for a Category E membership category for an Animal Ethics Committee to be mandatory for institutions that have or maintain animal breeding or holding facilities. How would the proposed changes work for your AEC?: 

As the One of the largest Animal services in Australia, employing over 80 Animal technicians we are strongly against mandatory inclusion and voting rights   for category E members for the following resaons-:

1) Severely inhibits our ability to send to a meeting the technician that is most appropriate for thre particular project undrer discussion.We would have to register  most of our technicians and have them vetted  by the State regulators

2) It just adds another administrative level to an already over burdened process

3)  There is the high potential for conflict of interest in that the category E member is llikely to be the one responsible for the animlas in the project under discussion and their salary is directly /indirectly connected to this work

4) If animal welfare is the concern there are many mechanisms for achieving this other than by mandate . For example at UQ , the technician/s directly involved in the project along with the facility Manager must  read and sign the application before it  will be accepted by the AEC. In addition category E members are actively  encouraged to attend by the Institution and AEC.

5) It removes the abilty for us to esaily rotate staff through AEC meetings as part of their leraning process  

6)  Achieving Quorums are alreday a significant problen in convening meetings , this will further exacerbate it

Page reviewed: 1 March, 2013