Animal ethics

At the University of Queensland, all work involving animals, cadaver animals, and cadaveric animal tissue must be assessed and appropriate approvals obtained prior to work commencing. 

The USQ Animal Work Scope Check tool is a quick and easy way for USQ Research Workers (researchers, teachers, and technical staff) to check if their work with animals (and/or cadaver animals and cadaveric animal tissue) might need ethical approval by the USQ Animal Ethics Committee (USQ AEC) or be eligible to apply for an exemption.  This is a guide only, so please use the outcomes at the end of the tool to guide your next steps.

If you need help, contact the USQ AEC Executive Officer in the Office of Research.

Queensland Legislation

The Animal Care and Protection Act 2001 (Qld) requires that any person using animals for scientific purposes for research or teaching must: 

Commencing a project without prior written approval from an Animal Ethics Committee may be subject to criminal prosecution under the Animal Care and Protection Act 2001 (Qld).

For the purposes of the Queensland Act, an animal is defined as follows.   :

  • any live vertebrate including amphibians, birds, fish, mammals and reptiles 
  • cephalopod invertebrates (octopus, squid, cuttlefish and nautilus) 
  • live pre-natal or pre-hatched animals in the last half of gestation, for example, mammalian or reptilian foetuses, pre-hatched avian, mammalian or reptilian young and live marsupial young.

The Act does not consider a human being or human foetus to be an animal, nor are the eggs, spat or spawn of fish.

Please note that the definition of an animal varies between Australian States/Territories and that reference to the relevant Act and Regulations in which the work will be conducted must be undertaken by those proposing to work with or use animals.

Amendments and reporting

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