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 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

2018 meeting dates and submission deadlines
Meeting date Submission deadline Venue
1 Feb 201818 Jan 2018 Campbelltown
School of Medicine 
Building 30 - Board Room
8 Mar 2018 22 Feb 2018 Hawkesbury
12 Apr 201829 Mar 2018 Campbelltown
School of Medicine
Building 30 - Board Room
10 May 2018 26 Apr 2018 Hawkesbury
14 Jun 201831 May 2018 Campbelltown
School of Medicine
Building 30 - Board Room
12 Jul 2018 28 Jun 2018 Hawkesbury
9 Aug 2018 26 Jul 2018 Hawkesbury
13 Sep 201830 Aug 2018 Hawkesbury
11 Oct 201827 Sep 2018 Campbelltown
School of Medicine
Building 30 - Board Room
8 Nov 2018 25 Oct 2018 Hawkesbury
13 Dec 201829 Nov 2018TBA

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.