TheNSW Animal Research Act 1985 was introduced to protect the welfare of animals, by ensuring their use in research is always humane, considerate, responsible and justified. The Animal Research Regulation 2010 and the Australian Code for the Care and Use off Animals for Scientific Purposes (8th Edition, 2013) are used with respect to the conduct of animal research and the supply of animals for use in connection with animal research.
Any organisation who uses or supplies vertebrate animals for research or teaching in NSW is affected by the Animal Research Act. The Act applies to all individuals, groups, institutions, organisations, schools and companies which use animals.
Organisations which conduct research with vertebrates must either (under the Animal Research Act, administered by the Animal Welfare Unit of NSW Department of Primary Industries [NSW DPI]) become an accredited research establishment or obtain an Animal Research Licence.
In addition, all research must be covered by a current Animal Research Authority. These are issued by approved Animal Care and Ethics Committees (ACECs) which in turn are administered by the Animal Welfare Unit and the Animal Research Review Panel of NSW DPI.
Animal research includes the use of animals in any:
An 'animal' includes any vertebrate, other than a human being, that is any:
NSW DPI (Fisheries) is an Accredited Research Establishment. NSW DPI (Fisheries) researchers must apply to the NSW DPI (Fisheries) Animal Care & Ethics Committee (ACEC) for approval prior to commencing research.
NSW DPI (Fisheries) ACEC approves research with fish and cephalopods conducted by NSW DPI (Fisheries), Sydney Water and the Sydney Catchment Authority. The NSW DPI (Fisheries) ACEC's role is to advise, monitor, discipline and control animal research. The Committee ensures that all research conducted complies with the legislation and Australian Code for the Care and Use of Animals for Scientific Purposes. The Committee is responsible for monitoring research within the department, including inspections of animals and facilities.
The Committee must consider and evaluate requests to conduct research, on the basis of the researchers' responses to a comprehensive set of questions, including the justification for the research; its likely impact on the animals; and procedures for preventing or alleviating pain or distress. The NSW DPI (Fisheries) ACEC has the power to stop inappropriate research and to discipline researchers by withdrawing their research approvals. They can require that adequate care, including emergency care, is provided. They also provide guidance and support to researchers on matters relevant to animal welfare, through preparation of guidelines and dissemination of relevant scientific literature.
The membership and duties of ACECs are laid down in the Animal Research Regulation 2010. The requirements are based on the Australian Code for the Care and Use of Animals for Scientific Purposes, which also provides the benchmark against which the committee judge research, when the research is proposed and carried out. The categories are:
More than one person may be appointed to each category. The Committee also has a Chairperson and Executive Officer.
The NSW DPI (Fisheries) ACEC conducts quarterly meetings to consider issues associated with animal research or teaching. The Committee must:
Annual Fisheries Animal Care and Ethic Committee reports are available on request. Please email the ACEC Executive Officer for a copy of a report.
Investigators (researchers) are ultimately responsible for the care, management and well-being of their research animals. People working within NSW DPI in any role, including as: an employee, a consultant, a post graduate student or an animal attendant; who wish to use animals in research must hold an Animal Research Authority issued by NSW DPI (Fisheries).
All proposals to undertake animal research must be submitted in writing to the NSW DPI (Fisheries) ACEC and approved before the research is commenced. Full information should be provided of:
Investigators must keep detailed records of the health and experimental use of animals in their charge. The records may be examined at any time by the ACEC or inspectors of the Animal Welfare Unit, NSW DPI.
Dr Craig Boys, Chairperson; NSW DPI; Animal Researcher
Mr Joe Pera, Animal Researcher
Ms Angela Jeppesen, Animal Welfare
Dr Malcolm Smeal, Veterinarian
Mr John Kennedy, Veterinarian
Ms Tracey Friend, Community Member
Mr Vinod Reddy, Community Member
Ms Rachel Kerma, Executive Officer - All initial enquiries should be directed to the Executive Officer who can be contacted at the Port Stephens Fisheries Institute on (02) 4916 3901 or firstname.lastname@example.org
See also - A Guide to Acceptable Procedures and Practices for Aquaculture and Fisheries Research (PDF, 577.62 KB)