A NSW Government website

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

Legislation and the Australian Code


The use of animals in research and teaching in NSW is regulated by the Animal Research Act 1985. The Act incorporates the Australian Code for the care and use of animals for scientific purposes.

The Australian Code

  • The Australian Code for the Care and Use of Animals for Scientific Purposes (the Australian Code) was established on the initiative of scientists in 1969. It is a nationally accepted document which is revised periodically to take into account changes in technology and society's views.
  • Revision of the Code is undertaken, under the auspices of NHMRC, by the Code Reference Group. This Code Reference group includes representatives from NHMRC, the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation, the Australian Research Council, Universities Australia, the state government ministries with responsibility for animal welfare, commonwealth government departments for the sectors of environment, education and primary industries, the RSPCA and Animals Australia.
  • The stated purpose of the Australian Code is to promote the ethical, humane and responsible care and use of animals for scientific purposes.
  • The Australian Code establishes Animal Ethics Committees to ensure that animal use is justified and that the principles of the 3Rs (replacement, reduction and refinement) are adhered to.
  • The Australian Code is incorporated by reference into the New South Wales Animal Research Regulation 2021 and is central to the conduct of animal research in NSW.