Code of practice
The Australian Code of Practice for the Care and Use of Animals for Scientific Purposes (the Code) was established on the initiative of scientists in 1969. It is rewritten periodically to take into account changes in technology and society's views.
Revision of the Code is now undertaken regularly by a group of people with a broad range of interests. These include scientists, laypersons and representatives from animal welfare organisations.
- The purpose of the Code is to ensure the humane care of animals used for scientific purposes.
- The Code establishes Animal Ethics Committees to ensure that animal use is justified and that the principles of the 3R's (replacement, reduction and refinement) are adhered to.
A new edition of the Code was published in 2004 (the seventh edition). It was prepared by a joint working party of the National Health and Medical Research Council (NH&MRC); the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), and the Australian Agricultural Council — along with representatives from the State Governments of New South Wales, South Australia and Victoria.
The Animal Research Review Panel also had a significant input to the Code’s development.
The Code is incorporated by reference into the New South Wales Animal Research Regulation 2005 and is central to the conduct of animal research.
Requirements of the Code
The Code requires that animal use in research must be:
It also requires researchers to actively seek alternatives to the use of animals in research and to justify why the use of animals is essential for their project.
The Code describes the responsibilities of people who use or supply animals for research, the responsibilities of Animal Ethics Committees, and the responsibilities of accredited research establishments. The code requires that the welfare of the research animals is always given consideration as a top priority.
All use of animals for scientific purposes in New South Wales must comply with the Code.
Copies of the Code can be viewed and downloaded from the NHMRC website.