Formal agreements between accredited establishments sharing animal ethics committees
1. A Corporation may nominate the Animal Ethics Committee (AEC) of another establishment as its own AEC. In this document, the establishment nominating the existing AEC will be referred to as the second establishment.
2. The relationship between the establishments should be clarified by a formal agreement that is signed by the nominated heads of each establishment.
3. The agreement should ensure that management of each establishment is fully informed of problems with the progress of its research, any untoward events occurring during the research or any other concerns of the AEC relevant to each establishment.
4. The agreement should include an undertaking that each establishment’s researchers will abide by the directions of the AEC and that the AEC will keep researchers informed of any relevant information that is received and/or considered by the AEC.
5. The second establishment should nominate a formal contact person with responsibility for coordinating the relevant paperwork and maintaining communication with the AEC. This nomination should be documented in the agreement.
6. The agreement should document the legal requirements for the AEC to report annually to the head of each establishment.
7. The agreement should document a mechanism for handling concerns and complaints from within and outside each establishment and for resolving disputes between researchers and the AEC.
8. The agreement should include the option for a representative of the second establishment to attend meetings of the AEC.
1. Under the Animal Research Act 1985, a corporation must appoint an AEC in order to become accredited. The AEC will act on behalf of the corporation with respect to its animal research.
2. The relationship between the AEC and the establishment which appointed it must be documented for each establishment. The length and complexity of the formal agreement will vary depending on the amount of research carried out by the second establishment. Where the relationship involves infrequent research projects, a simple document (less than one page), covering the eight points of this policy, should suffice. Where a substantial amount of research is being carried out by the second establishment, a more complex document will be required. Samples of agreements are available from the Animal Welfare Branch on request.
3. Reporting from the AEC to the management of each establishment should be similar. The frequency and detail of reports will depend on the situation but should cover, at least; significant animal welfare problems, significant problems with the research program and significant problems with researcher compliance. (See Policy Statement 5). The timing of the report will depend on the seriousness of the problem and its implications for animal welfare.
4. Reporting from each establishment should be treated equally by the AEC and should be equally bound by the decisions and directions of the AEC. The AEC’s role in disseminating relevant information on technical and ethical issues should be fulfilled for the researchers in both establishments.
5. Submission of protocols, correspondence with, and reporting to, the AEC from the second establishment, should occur in a coordinated fashion. This should facilitate the relationship between the AEC and the management of the second establishment.
6. Section 2.2.40 of the Australian Code of Practice for the Care and Use of Animals for Scientific Purposes requires the submission of an annual report by the AEC in writing to the governing body of the institution (see also Policy Statement 5).
7. Section 2.1.1(xi) of the Code requires establishments to document grievance procedures (see also Policy Statement 8).
8. Where a substantial quantity of research is being conducted by the second establishment, it would be advisable for one or more representatives to sit on the AEC. Where research projects are submitted intermittently, it may be more appropriate for a representative to attend on an ad hoc basis, if at all.
SAMPLE AGREEMENT TO A COMPANY
THIS AGREEMENT is made the day of ...........................................
BETWEEN THE BIG FAT BAT COMPANY PTY LTD in the State of New South
Wales (THE COMPANY) ............................................
The corporate Trustee for the College, a tertiary education institution in the State of New South Wales (The Trustee)
The College is an educational institution at Littletown, New South Wales, and is an Accredited Research Establishment pursuant to the requirements of the Animal Research Act 1985 ('the Act') and the Regulations under the Act.
The College has requested THE COMPANY to allow its Animal Ethics Committee (AEC) to be the nominated AEC for the College, since the College has insufficient business to justify establishing its own Animal Ethics Committee.
This request is in accordance with the policy 'Formal Agreements between Accredited Establishments Sharing AECs' of the Animal Research Review Panel of the New South Wales government and THE COMPANY has agreed to the request.
This Agreement is intended to ensure:
- effective co-operation between the College and THE COMPANY in the administration of shared areas of responsibility under the Act and Regulations, as they relate to the College;
- the development of mechanisms which enable the AEC to fulfil its duties as required; and
- he development of mechanisms by which the College and THE COMPANY are aware of, and have authority over, all animal research and teaching proposals conducted within the College precincts.
NOW IT IS AGREED as follows:
1.1 In this Agreement, unless the context otherwise indicates or requires:
'Principal' means the Chief Executive Officer of THE COMPANY or his or her nominee;
'Researcher' means an academic member of the staff of the College involved in research or teaching or a combination of research and teaching;
'Secretary' means the employee of THE COMPANY designated as the secretary to the AEC OF THE COMPANY;
'Service Fee' means the fee, if any, payable by the College to THE COMPANY in return for the services provided by the AEC OF THE COMPANY to the College;
A reference to any gender shall include the other gender.
A reference to a clause shall be a reference to a section or clause of this Agreement.
The singular shall include the plural and vice versa and in particular any word or words defined in the singular shall have a corresponding meaning if used in the plural or vice versa.
The headings used herein are for ease of reference only and shall not in any way affect the construction of the Agreement.
2. Term of the Agreement
2.1 The Animal Care Committee of THE COMPANY (AEC.CO.) shall be the designated Animal Ethics Committee for the College, until such time as the Agreement is terminated by either party as provided in clause 9 below.
2.2 The parties shall review the arrangement at least annually during the term of this Agreement, at a meeting arranged between relevant officers of THE COMPANY and of the College.
3. Responsibilities of the company
3.1 THE COMPANY will ensure that:
3.1.1 AEC.CO will consider, approve where appropriate, review and monitor all proposals for the use of animals arising from the College;
3.1.2 Copies of agendas and minutes of meetings of AEC.CO are routinely forwarded on a confidential basis as specified in clause 7.1 below, to the Principal of the College.
3.1.3 AEC.CO keeps researchers and/or teachers from the College informed of any relevant information which is received and/or considered by AEC.CO.
3.1.4 An Annual Report is provided by the AEC.CO to the Principal of the College.
4. Responsibilities of the college
4.1 The College will ensure that:
4.1.1 researchers and/or teachers of the College abide by the directions of the AEC.CO.
4.1.2 all new research or teaching proposals which are to be conducted within College precincts are submitted initially through the Principal of the College to the Secretary of the AEC.CO, with further correspondence relating to a proposal moving directly between the Secretary and the relevant researcher, with copies to the Principal.
4.1.3 the Principal, on the advice of the AEC.CO, is responsible for the issuing of Animal Research Authorities for all work conducted within College precincts.
4.1.4 the Principal assists the AEC.CO in the organisation and conduct of site visits to facilities within College precincts, as reasonably required by the AEC.CO.
4.1.5 the Principal issues AEC.CO with a letter of authority to conduct announced or unannounced site inspections within the College precincts and to suspend or cease any experiment or procedure which is not in compliance or does not have approval of AEC.CO, in accordance with the procedures for suspension and withdrawal of approval for animal research established by the AEC.CO and practices at THE COMPANY.
4.1.6 the Principal takes responsibility for the maintenance of the College’s Accreditation as an Animal Research Establishment and for the preparation of Annual Returns on Animal Use at the College.
4.1.7 THE COMPANY is provided with copies of the College’s Accreditation, licences and any associated reports, for the information of the Chairperson of the AEC.CO.
4.1.8 the principal shall act as the liaison person to organise inspections by the Animal Research Review Panel, and take responsibility for ensuring that all appropriate records are available for the Panel.
4.1.9 the Principal shall act as the liaison person between the AEC.CO and the College in the implementation of recommendations of the Animal Research Review Panel or when the AEC.CO requires changes in the management of facilities within the College precincts.
4.1.10 the Principal shall maintain a register of all current approved proposals conducted within the College precincts, records of each research proposal submitted, AEC.CO approvals and any associated matters in accordance with THE COMPANY’S practices.
5. Membership of the AEC.CO
5.1 The composition and membership of the AEC.CO shall be as determined from time to time by THE COMPANY as advised by the AEC.CO and as required by the Act and Regulations under the Act.
5.2 The Principal may nominate a member of the College staff as a member of the AEC.CO if this option is not exercised, the Principal may attend any meeting as an observer and may be requested to attend by the Chair of the AEC.CO to discuss specific matters.
6. Service fee
6.1 THE COMPANY reserves the right to impose a Service Fee on the College for the services rendered under this Agreement, in an annual amount to be negotiated and agreed by the parties from time to time.
6.2 THE COMPANY shall give the College three months’ notice of its intention to impose a Service Fee and shall promptly begin negotiations as to the quantum of the fee.
7.1 Minutes and agenda of meetings of AEC.CO will be forwarded to the Principal of the College on a confidential basis and shall not, without the prior written consent of AEC.CO be disclosed to any other party.
7.2 THE COMPANY will treat all applications from Researchers as confidential documents and restrict access to the members of AEC.CO save as may be required by law.
7.3 The provisions of this clause shall survive the termination of this Agreement.
8. Grievance procedures
8.1 Procedures for grievances concerning the use of animals and for the resolution of disputes regarding decisions of the AEC.CO shall be in accordance with those developed by the AEC.CO.
9.1 Notwithstanding the provisions of clauses 2.1 and 2.2 above, this Agreement may be terminated in the following circumstances:
9.1.1 by either party, in the event of a breach by the other party of its obligations or any covenant, term or stipulation contained in this Agreement, by the party not in default giving to the other notice in writing specifying the breach and stating that the Agreement will be terminated if that breach is not remedied.
If the specified breach is not remedied within ninety (90) days from the date of receipt by the other party of the notice, this Agreement shall thereupon terminate without prejudice to any other rights which any party may have against the other party arising out of this Agreement.
9.1.2 by THE COMPANY immediately, upon giving written notice to the College if the Trustee should make any assignment for the benefit of creditors, or if any action or proceedings under any bankruptcy law is taken against the College and is not dismissed, or if the College effects a voluntary or compulsory liquidation of assets, other than for the purpose of reconstruction or amalgamation.
9.1.3 By either party giving six months’ notice in writing to the other.
9.2 The termination of this Agreement under clause 9.1 hereof shall be without prejudice to all accrued and continuing obligations of one party towards the other party, incurred or agreed to prior to the day of termination and THE COMPANY and the Trustee hereby agreed that notwithstanding such termination of the Agreement, THE COMPANY and the College will co-operate to collectively fulfil the obligations and commitments to all researchers whose projects are approved by the AEC.CO prior to the said termination in accordance with the terms and conditions of the Agreement, for a period of three months from the date of termination or until satisfactory alternative arrangements are made by the College, whichever occurs first.
10.1 The Trustee shall at all times indemnify and hold harmless its officers, employees and agents ("those indemnified") from and against any loss (including legal costs and expenses) or liability reasonably incurred or suffered by any of those indemnified arising from any claim, suit, demand, action or proceeding by any person against any of those indemnified where such loss or liability was caused by any wilful, unlawful or negligent act or omission of the Trustee and the College, its employees, agents or subcontractors in connection with this Agreement.
10.2 THE COMPANY shall at all times indemnify and hold harmless, the Trustee, the College, its officers, employees and agents (those indemnified) from and against any loss (including legal costs and expenses) or liability reasonably incurred or suffered by any of those indemnified arising from any claim, suit, demand, action or proceeding by any person against any of those indemnified where such loss or liability was caused by any wilful, unlawful or negligent act or omission of THE COMPANY its employees, agents or subcontractors in connection with this Agreement.
11. Governing law
11.1 This agreement shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws in the State of New South Wales and the parties agree to submit themselves to the exclusive jurisdiction of the Courts of the State of New South Wales.
12.1 This Agreement and its schedules may be amended or varied from time to time provided such amendment or variation is evidenced in writing signed by the parties and unless the context otherwise so requires, a reference to this agreement shall include a reference to this agreement and its schedules as amended or varied from time to time.
13. Relationship of the parties
13.1 Nothing contained in this Agreement shall be construed so as to constitute either party a partner of the other party or to create any commercial or other partnership between the parties under any applicable law of New South Wales or the Commonwealth of Australia.
14.1 Neither party shall have the right to assign, transfer or otherwise dispose of all or part of its interest in this Agreement without the prior written consent of the other party.
15.1 Any notice given pursuant to this Agreement by one party to the other shall be in writing (by both certified mail and facsimile) and shall be sent to the following addresses of the parties:
The College: Littletown College
THE BIG FAT BAT COMPANY
or to such other addresses as may be notified from time to time by either party to the other.
15.2 Any notice sent shall be deemed received on the tenth day after the day it was sent by certified mail.
16. Entire agreement
16.1 This Agreement and the schedules hereto shall constitute the entire agreement between the parties in relation to the subject matter in this Agreement and supersedes any previous agreements whether written or verbal.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF the parties have executed this agreement on the date written at the head of this document.
SIGNED for and on behalf of the BIG FAT BAT COMPANY PTY LTD
a duly authorised representative,
in the presence of: ...........................................Witness
The COMMON SEAL of the Trustee of LITTLETOWN COLLEGE was hereunto affixed pursuant to a resolution of the Board of Management,
in the presence of: ...........................................
Animal Research Review Panel Policy 11