The RECS Animal Care Veterinary Team works with researchers, students and staff to ensure the best possible research and animal welfare outcomes. To do this we provide independent advice, support, treatment and care for your research animals, develop better practice standards, guidelines and protocols, research advice, assistance and support, deliver training and other specialist training, attend and manage adverse events and adverse event reporting. We are available during and outside of business hours.
We are a team of experienced veterinarians, including the Director of Animal Care and two Animal Welfare Officers.
The primary role of the RECS Animal Care Veterinary Team is to facilitate animal-based research at UNSW by providing:
- general veterinary assistance to support animal wellbeing including the management of clinical cases: veterinary examination, development of treatment plan and ongoing monitoring
- guidance and investigations of adverse and unexpected events including post-mortem examinations and assistance with preparation of report to the ACEC
- specialised surgical and other animal-based research procedures support
- specialised veterinary advice to ensure animal welfare to assist with the submission of animal ethics application
- development, delivery and management of training and education programs in animal ethics, care and welfare for researchers as well as technical staff; training programs cover animal ethics, legislation, relevant codes, unsw expectations of compliance and acec requirements including animal wellbeing
- provide practical training on basic procedures on laboratory animals
- provide support and training for specialised techniques and procedures including surgical training
- assist with animal facility staff and trainer continuing education programs
- supporting the ACEC to ensure animal welfare through post-condition monitoring including animal inspections, monitoring, review of procedures and reporting
Please contact us for veterinary assistance if your research animals show abnormal clinical and/or behavioural signs, if you require advise on how to safeguard animal wellbeing or if you require any other veterinary support. We provide 24-hour emergency veterinary support.
We can assist you by:
- providing veterinary examination and review
- developing treatment plans
- assist with appropriate monitoring plans and ongoing advice
- providing advice on health management of animals nearing humane endpoints based on veterinary assessment
- where appropriate, we can also conduct post-mortem examinations
- providing general veterinary support such as signing off on medicated feeds or providing appropriate scripts
RECS Animal Care veterinarians can assist you with any animal emergency, unexpected adverse events and post-mortem examination.
Unexpected adverse events include but are not limited to:
- death of an animal or group of animals that was not expected (e.g. during surgery or anaesthesia, or after a procedure or treatment)
- adverse events following a procedure or treatment that were not expected
- adverse effects in a larger number of animals than predicted during the planning of the project or activity based on the number of animals actually used, not the number approved for the study
- a greater level of pain or distress than was predicted during the planning of the project or activity
- power failures, inclement weather, emergency situations or other factors external to the project or activity that have a negative impact on the welfare of the animals
Please contact us for assistance with any adverse or unexpected adverse event. If required, we can assist you in providing advice for prior to submitting your unexpected adverse event form.
The RECS animal care team veterinarians can assist you with health monitoring and disease investigation in your research animals.
- provide veterinary advice on husbandry, care and animal welfare/wellbeing
- provide advice on colony health monitoring and disease surveillance
- oversee disease investigation and management
- provide advice and feedback with animal facility procedure manuals
The RECS Animal Care Veterinary team can support you in a number of specialised ways.
Assist with establishing new experimental models to safeguard animal wellbeing:
- provide advice for new ACEC applications with the development of new animal-based research procedures and associated monitoring guidelines
- provide assistance during pilot studies including procedural training, competency assessment, and veterinary guidance
- during conduct of new procedures, provide ongoing guidance on monitoring, appropriate analgesia, anaesthesia and surgical technique and their impact on animal welfare
- assist with project conditions by communicating outcomes to the ACECs
- help with liaising with other research groups who have relevant expertise in specialised techniques
Where appropriate, we can provide practical training for specialised surgical procedures to ensure animal welfare.