When you work with animals in research (including breeding and teaching), or use animal tissue or observe animals in the wild, you are required to humanely and ethically care for the animals.
This is a legal requirement - you must comply with several laws, regulations and policies.
All animals must be treated ethically, but work with vertebrates, cephalopods or decapods also requires the project be reviewed by the Animal Ethics Committee.
This section of the website describes the main laws and policies. More specific regulation and policy covering special circumstances are listed on animal research laws and policy.
The Australian Code for the Care and Use of Animals for Scientific Purposes, 8th edition, 2013 (the Code) is a Commonwealth set of guidelines for the ethical and humane care and use of animals used for scientific purposes.
The Animal Welfare Act 2002 of Western Australia, and the Animal Welfare (Scientific Purposes) Regulations 2003 set the law for research and teaching involving animals. Note: while this is a Western Australian law, the NHMRC Code, and UWA policy both require that all work with animals by UWA staff and students be reviewed for compliance with the Code, even if that work is conducted outside Australia.
The Western Australian Animal Welfare (Scientific Purposes) Regulations 2003 change the status of the Code from guidelines to that of law in Western Australia. The regulations also draw teaching that uses animals under the same regulatory framework as research.
UWA researchers and teachers also need to be familiar with the University Policy on the Use of Animals in Research and Teaching. Some law and some policy also mandate specific reporting by those working with animals.
The Animal Ethics Office can guide you on reporting requirements.
Contact Animal Care Services for your project requirements.
All the forms and guidelines for animal ethics are on one page.