A NSW Government website

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

Animal Research Act


The purpose of the Animal Research Act 1985 is to protect the welfare of animals used in connection with research. The Act incorporates a system of enforced self-regulation, with community participation at the institutional and regulatory levels. The Act establishes a system of accreditation, licensing and authorisation of organisations and individual researchers. The Act also establishes the Animal Research Review Panel to provide a mechanism for representatives of government, scientific and animal welfare groups to participate jointly in monitoring the effectiveness of the legislation.

The Act creates offences for conducting animal research without appropriate authorisation, with substantial custodial and financial penalties.

Defining animal research

The definition of “animal research” under the Act is broad and includes the use of animals in:

  • experimental research;
  • surgical, medical, psychological, biological, chemical or physical treatment;
  • abnormal husbandry or dietary conditions;
  • collection of blood, tissue or other body samples;
  • teaching;
  • diagnosis;
  • product testing;
  • production of biological products;
  • feeding trials;
  • field surveys.


Individuals and establishments carrying out animal research in NSW must comply with: