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

For a downloadable flowchart, see Flowchart for Researchers - Animal Ethics (PDF, 74.39 KB) (opens in a new window)

STEP 1

Researchers should download and complete the Animal Ethics Application Form (DOCX, 136.3 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).

STEP 2

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.

STEP 3

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

STEP 4

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

STEP 5

(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.

STEP 6

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

STEP 7

(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).

STEP 8

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:

Role/ExpertiseName
Chairperson / Behavioural Neuroscience Tim Karl
Deputy Chair / Ecology Justin Welbergen
Oncology Tara Roberts
Physiology and Ecology Christopher Turbill
Animal Behaviour and Ecology Christa Beckmann
Neuroscience Erika 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 2023 meeting schedule
Meeting date Submission deadline Venue
2 Feb 2023 19 Jan 2023 Campbelltown Campus, Building 30 (30.3.39)
2 Mar 2023 16 Feb 2023 Hawkesbury Campus, Building L2 (L2.G.13)
6 Apr 2023 23 Mar 2023 Campbelltown Campus, Building 30 (30.3.39)
4 May 2023 20 Apr 2023 Hawkesbury Campus, Building L2 (L2.G.13)
1 Jun 2023 18 May 2023 Campbelltown Campus, Building 30 (30.3.39)
6 Jul 2023 22 Jun 2023 Ingham Institute Boardroom
3 Aug 2023 20 Jul 2023 Campbelltown Campus, Building 30 (30.3.39)
7 Sep 2023 24 Aug 2023 Hawkesbury Campus, Building L2 (L2.G.13)
5 Oct 2023 21 Sep 2023 Campbelltown Campus, Building 30 (30.3.39)
2 Nov 2023 19 Oct 2023 Hawkesbury Campus, Building L2 (L2.G.13)
7 Dec 2023 23 Nov 2023 Campbelltown Campus, Building 30 (30.3.39)

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 animalethics@westernsydney.edu.au by 30 September 2018.

For more information see:

For all enquiries, please contact the animal ethics team