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).

Animal Ethics Application Steps


Researchers should download and complete the Animal Ethics Application Form (DOCX, 111.23 KB) (opens in a new window). If you require any further assistance with your application, please contact us. The ethics officers can also be contacted for consultations and for advice regarding applications (at least a week is needed for the review of documentation).


Researchers should check the Deadlines for Submission and ACEC Meeting Dates  and plan enough time around the submission of their application.Researchers should also cross check Standard Operating Procedures with the Technical Support Services Approved Master Library. For more information please contact the animal ethics officer.


Researchers should review their application to make sure it is complete.


Applications should be submitted to the Animal Care and Ethics Committee.


(a) The ACEC will review applications at the next meeting and determine an outcome for each.
(b) Feedback will provided back to the Chief Investigator for review of the application.

(c) The Chief Investigator will address concerns raised by the ACEC in the more information required document.

The application will then go back to Step 3, 4 and 5.


The ethics application will be approved and the letter of approval is then emailed to the Chief Investigator.


(a) Animal Research Authority (ARA) will be issued and emailed to the Chief Investigator.
(b) Valid BRSC approval if needed (separate process and committee)
(c) Valid Standard Operating Procedure(s).


Researcher can begin animal related work.

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 Neuroscience Tim Karl
Deputy Chair / EcologyJustin Welbergen
Oncology Tara Roberts
Physiology and Ecology Christopher Turbill
Animal Behaviour and EcologyChrista Beckmann
NeuroscienceErika Gyengesi

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

ACEC 2022 meeting schedule
Meeting date Submission deadline Venue
3 Feb 2022 20 Jan 2022 Campbelltown/Zoom
3 Mar 2022 17 Feb 2022 Hawkesbury/Zoom
7 Apr 2022 24 Mar 2022 Zoom
5 May 2022 21 Apr 2022 Zoom
2 Jun 2022 19 May 2022 Zoom
7 Jul 2022 23 Jun 2022 Ingham Institute/Zoom
4 Aug 2022 21 Jul 2022 Zoom
1 Sep 2022 18 Aug 2022 Hawkesbury/Zoom
6 Oct 2022 22 Sep 2022 Campbelltown/Zoom
3 Nov 2022 20 Oct 2022 Zoom
1 Dec 2022 17 Nov 2022 TBA/Zoom

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