Animal Ethics

Western Sydney University complies with the Australian Code for the Care and Use of Animals for Scientific Purposes (opens in a new window) and the New South Wales Animal Research Act (opens in a new window) and its Regulations. In addition, there are other guidelines and codes that must be complied with such as the Australian Agricultural Council Codes of Practice for Animal Welfare, and guidelines issued by the Office of the Gene Technology Regulator (OGTR) (opens in a new window). Researchers wishing to work with native species must seek approval from the NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service (opens in a new window)


As part of its adherence to the Australian Code for the Care and Use of Animals for Scientific Purposes (opens in a new window), the University provides a range of mechanisms for any concerns or complaints regarding the use of animals as set out in the Complaints Procedure (DOCX, 54.11 KB) (opens in a new window)

Members of the public, students and staff may contact the Animal Care and Ethics Committee (ACEC) through its Executive Officer, via email on

If the ACEC is unable to resolve the concern, the University's Complaints Resolution Unit (opens in a new window) can be contacted by the committee or by any concerned member of the public, staff or student of the University.

Researcher Non-Compliance

It is accepted that researchers are committed to ensuring they comply with all the requirements placed on them whilst conducting animal research, however, when cases of non-compliance occur, these are dealt with according to the Non-Compliance Procedure (DOCX, 53.08 KB) (opens in a new window)

Approved Standard Operating Procedures

The ACEC approves standard operating procedures (SOPs) relating to the care and use of animals. While reference to SOPs can help people prepare applications to the ACEC, there needs to be an orderly process for the evaluation of these procedures. Refer to Animal Teaching and Research Related Standard Operating Procedures (DOCX, 49.38 KB) (opens in a new window) for further information.

Committee and Meeting Dates

Animal Care and Ethics Committee (ACEC)

All research or teaching exercises involving the use of animals must have the approval of the Animal Care and Ethics Committee (ACEC) before it can proceed.

The ACEC is a broad based committee made up of animal researchers, veterinarians, animal welfare representatives and independent community members.

The ACEC Chair is Professor Tim Karl. Western Sydney University staff and their roles/expertise are listed below:

Chairperson / Behavioural NeuroscienceTim Karl
Deputy Chair / OncologyTara Roberts
BiologyClarissa House
EcologyBen Moore
Cardiovascular Physiology & PharmacologySai Seto
EcologyJustin Welbergen

The ACEC has the responsibility to approve proposals and provide ongoing monitoring of projects and animal holding facilities. By law, the University is required to maintain accurate records on the use and disposal of any animals at the University.

Committee members value the input of researchers to enhance the effective functioning of the committee and applicants are encouraged to attend meetings of the ACEC in the initial presentation of protocols.

As a general principle the ACEC accepts the use of animals in research and teaching providing there is:

  1. A demonstrated educational or research benefit
  2. No suitable alternatives are available at the time e.g. video
  3. A minimum number of animals are used
  4. A demonstrated effort to minimise the likely impact on the welfare of the animals used.

Western Sydney University students or staff may carry out work under a protocol and an Animal Research Authority (ARA) approved by another ACEC, but no work should commence until the University ACEC ratifies the Animal Research or Training Protocol.

Meeting dates

2019 meeting dates and submission deadlines
Meeting date Submission deadline Venue
7 Feb 2019 24 Jan 2019 Campbelltown
School of Medicine 
Building 30 - Board Room
14 Mar 2019 28 Feb 2019 Hawkesbury
11 Apr 2019 28 Mar 2019 Campbelltown
School of Medicine
Building 30 - Board Room
9 May 2019 25 Apr 2019 Hawkesbury
13 Jun 2019 30 May 2019 Campbelltown
School of Medicine
Building 30 - Board Room
11Jul 2019 27 Jun 2019 Hawkesbury
8 Aug 2019 25 Jul 2019 Hawkesbury
12 Sep 2019 29 Aug 2019 Hawkesbury
10 Oct 2019 26 Sep 2019 Campbelltown
School of Medicine
Building 30 - Board Room
14 Nov 2019 31 Oct 2019 Hawkesbury
5 Dec 2019
No new applications considered
21 Nov 2019 TBA

Committee Membership

The Animal Care and Ethics Committee (ACEC) is seeking to fill various membership vacancies from 1 January 2019 until 1 January 2022. The membership vacancies are as follows:

  • Category A (Veterinarian)
  • Category B (Academic)
  • Category C (Welfare)
  • Category D (Community)

The role of the ACEC is to oversee the use of animals in research and teaching in accordance with the Animal Research Act (1985) (opens in a new window) and Regulation (2010) as well as the Australian Code for the Care and Use of Animals for Scientific Purposes (opens in a new window)

The ACEC meets on a monthly basis from February to November each year. Meetings are held at the Campbelltown and Hawkesbury campuses at 1pm.

Apply by completing the Expression of Interest form (DOCX, 64.25 KB) (opens in a new window) and forwarding to by 30 September 2018.

For more information see:

For all enquiries, please contact the animal ethics team

Guidelines and Resources




Information sessions

Animal ethics information sessions are held periodically. If your research involves working with animals we encourage you to attend a session to find out more about:

  • Animal ethics – introduction and history
  • Legislation regarding animal use in research and teaching
  • Responsibilities of investigators who use animals
  • The ACEC application process.

These information sessions are aimed primarily at Higher Degree Research students; however, course advisors and supervisors are also welcome to attend.