Animal Research Ethics at UNSW

Animal Research Ethics – for all research experiments involving animals.

The NSW Animal Research Act (1985) requires that all research (funded or unfunded) and teaching that uses animals - whether alive or dead - must receive prior written approval from the UNSW Animal Care and Ethics Committee (ACEC). All animal research at UNSW is conducted in accordance with the UNSW Animal Research Ethics Procedure.

Researchers should also familiarise themselves with the Australian Code for the Care and Use of Animals for Scientific Purposes 8th edition (2013). The Code promotes the ethical, humane and responsible care and use of animals used for scientific purposes. The ethical framework and governing principles set out in the Code  provide guidance for investigators, teachers, institutions, animal ethics committees and all people involved in the care and use of animals for scientific purposes.

To ensure compliance, it is UNSW policy that no research on animals can commence until ACEC approval has been granted for the project.  Commencing a project without prior written approval may be subject to criminal prosecution.

Applications are to be completed online through Animal Ethics Online. Further information is available on this website or from the Research Ethics and Compliance Support (RECS): email: or 9385 4958.

As no UNSW teaching hospital has its own ACEC, with the exception of St Vincent’s Hospital, this service is currently provided by the UNSW ACEC.

Role of the Director of Animal Care

UNSW Australia upholds the ethical and moral issues involved with the use of animals in research for scientific advancement where researchers acknowledge the responsibilities with the care and wellbeing of research animals.

The primary role of the Director of Animal Care is to facilitate animal-based research at UNSW through training and education and to ensure compliance with the Australian Code for the Care and Use of Animals for Scientific Purposes 8th Edition (2013)

This includes:

  • Veterinary Support
  • Surgical and other animal based research procedures support
  • Post-mortem examinations and assistance with preparation of Adverse/Unexpected Events report
  • Provide assistance with the submission of Animal Ethics application
  • Provide animal handling training through the Animal Ethics and Care course
  • Provide animal-based procedures training

Complaints and Grievances

Complaints about the conduct of research by UNSW Australia staff and students should be directed to the Senior Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Professor Les Field. The contact details for Professor Field are Phone 9385 2700 and Email

Grievances about ethics review and processes by UNSW Australia staff and students should be addressed to the Director Research Ethics & Compliance Support, Dr Ted Rohr. The contact details for Dr Rohr are Phone 9385 4235 and Email