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

Personal Details
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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?: 

There are dozens of procedures involving anaesthesia and surgery performed every day across [third party information removed]. WIth two part-time veterinary staff, it is simply not feasible, or necessary, for them to attend every surgery. Importantly, I do not anticipate that there would be any improvement in animal welfare as a result of direct supervision of a veterinarian, but there would be a large increase in the costs and difficulty of performing experiments.

Clearly, all procedures must be conducted either by, or under the supervision of, a trained and competent person.

9. Is “animal” appropriately defined? Should the definition account for animals at the early stage of their development (i.e. embryonic, fetal and larval forms)? : 

Animal is appropriately defined and the additional advice should remain. I do not believe that it is necessary to include embryos, fetuses and larval forms in the formal definition.

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?: 

It is often useful to have a Cat E member at AEC meetings, and when in attendance they should have voting rights. However, I believe that their attendance is not always necessary and their presence should not be required to reach quorum. However, it would be appropriate for the AEC chair to request and require attendence of a Cat E member, when proposals to be discussed will include Breeding colonies, or animals to be held in facilities under experiment for extended periods of time.

Across a large university, a single animal facility manager may not be familiar with all animal facilities. In contrast, the vet staff may be more familiar with specific procedures, projects or facilities, and they are already present at the meeting. Thus, it may not be of any additional benefit to require the presence of a Cat E member.


11. Should the document include a guide regarding the longest duration of approval granted by an Animal Ethics Committee (AEC) for a project before submission of a new application is required? : 

It is appropriate that a guide to the longest duration of approval be in place. However, given that some animals are involved in a single experiment for many years, there should be simple mechanisms for re-approving expired or soon-to-expire projects, or transferring animals between approved protocols.

Page reviewed: 1 March, 2013