A NSW Government website

Animal Ethics Infolink
A NSW Department of Primary Industries and Animal Research Review Panel initiative


The NSW Department of Primary Industries (the Department) accepts both general and statutory complaints relating to the use of animals in research and teaching in NSW.

To make a complaint, please contact the Department by email or phone.

Statutory complaints must be made in writing and signed by the complainant, and therefore they are unable to be made anonymously to the Secretary. If you wish to make a statutory complaint, please review the information below and advise the Department of your intention.

General complaints can be made to the Department either verbally or in writing and can be made anonymously. Complaints made in this manner will be assessed to determine whether there are sufficient grounds to initiate an investigation. An investigation may lead to action being taken; however, these complaints are not subject to the specific procedures outlined below for statutory complaints.

All complaints are treated confidentially. In addition, Section 56 of the Animal Research Act 1985 limits the disclosure of any information obtained in connection with the administration or execution of the Act.

Statutory complaints under the Animal Research Act 1985

Procedures under sections 22, 28 and 42 of the Animal Research Act 1985 allow for statutory complaints to be made to the Secretary relating to an accredited research establishment, animal research authority holder or animal supplier’s licence holder. A complaint lodged in this manner must meet the requirements outlined in the Animal Research Act 1985 which include being:

  • In writing,
  • Specifying the grounds upon which it is made,
  • Signed by the complainant, and
  • Lodged at the office of the Secretary.

If these requirements are met, the Secretary will then refer the complaint to the Animal Research Review Panel for investigation and the preparation of a report. The report is then provided to the Secretary for consideration, and a determination is made to either:

  • Cancel the relevant licence/authority/accreditation,
  • Suspend the relevant licence/authority/accreditation for such a period as the Secretary sees fit,
  • Caution or reprimand the establishment or licence/authority holder, or
  • Dismiss the complaint.

As soon as practicable after determining a complaint, written notice of the determination will be provided to the complainant and the entity that was the subject of the complaint.