The UQR&I Animal Ethics Unit is there to help applicants with the completion of their ethics applications.  Please do not hesitate to contact the unit for any queries or advice. 

Top Tips Brochures

The Top Tips for Success in Animal Ethics Applications (PDF, 1.1 MB) has been produced in the ethics brochure series and provides tips for avoiding errors commonly seen by the AECs in animal ethics applications. It is recommended that you download and refer to the helpful tips to prepare you for writing an application. UQR&I and the AECs would like to minimise the time until your application is approved.

The Top Tips for Managing Mouse Breeding Colonies (PDF, 2.1 MB) (PDF, 2.1 MB)provides helpful advice for establishing, managing and reporting animal use on laboratory animal breeding approvals at The University of Queensland.

Using the Help functionality in the online application form

If you see this symbol  on the online form, you will be provided with hints for completing that question if you click on the symbol. We encourage you to use these helpful tips.

Personnel

Ensure that experience, full qualifications and training of personnel have been provided relevant to the techniques and species to be used. For example, it is not appropriate to indicate 20 years of animal work which could mean observing elephants, and does not reflect experience needed for the current project using invasive heart surgery in rats.

For online research applications, participants will receive an email requesting they confirm their involvment in the proposed project.

For laboratory animals the Officer in Charge of the animal facility (OIC) must be included in the listed participants.

For other applications where a participant is interstate or overseas (not relevant to the online application), email the application to them and have them print and sign the declaration and return via email.

You may submit an application before all signatures have been obtained however those particiants can not begin work until their signature has been received.

Collaborations

Each person working on a project that is being conducted in QLD must be registered with Biosecurity Queensland. UQ staff and students are automatically registered. All people working on the project that are external to UQ must have appropriate registration either as an individual or via their employer. Contact the Animal Ethics Unit Coordinator for advice with matters concerning registration.

Where work on the project is performed intrastate, interstate and overseas, the application needs to clearly identify:

  • where each component of the work is being undertaken
  • who will be undertaking the work
  • whether approval is required from another Animal Ethics Committee (AEC)
  • who will be monitoring the work
  • who will be reporting the work to regulators and NHMRC.

AECs are required to enter into agreements with other institutions regarding this aspect of experimentation.

Source of animals and transport details before and during the project

Ensure that the location of the source of animals is detailed rather than generic. Entities that breed and supply animals and house or otherwise participate in animals being used for scientific purposes in Queensland must be registered with Biosecurity Queensland.

Obtaining animals from interstate or overseas is not appropriate if they are available locally, due to issues of transportation stress, unless strong justification can be provided for doing so.

Full details of transportation must be provided for each species. Where multiple species are to be used, details for each must be provided. Investigators are encouraged to refer to standard operating procedures for transport details.

Housing of animals

Holding and procedure rooms should be specific not generic as in "the animal house" or "building (65)" but rather should state the name of the facility, the building name, and the room number.  

If the animals are housed outside of a UQBR animal facility for more than 24 hours, provide:

  • all details of the location of the holding area
  • who will monitor the animals
  • how the animals will be cared for.

Environmental enrichment is an important aspect of animal work. Details of what environmental enrichment will be available should be provided. If, for the sake of the project, none is to be given then this must be justified.

If the need to remove animals from a UQBR facility is identified subsequent to obtaining ethical approval, please follow the University's Tracking and Holding Laboratory Animals Outside UQBR Facilities Procedures that have been established for this purpose.

Re-using animals

Ensure that re-use of animals is noted and appropriate details of how the re-use will be managed, especially from an animal welfare aspect and the time between uses. This is particularly relevant for animals that are used from University flocks and herds for both research and teaching activities on a rotational system. A log book system is usually required for this purpose at both the animal facility level and the project level. 

Numbers

Check to ensure that the total numbers of animals requested are the same as the numbers indicated in the justification section and the numbers to be used in the experimental plan.

Advice from a statistician should be sought for statistical justification wherever possible and their name provided. There is usually an expectation that statistical justification will be achieved through a power calculation.  

The online form provides a link to a website that contains a power calculation tool. If the number of animals is a reasoned estimate informed by evidence-based, past research experience, you should explain the process followed to arrive at the numbers proposed.  

Death as an end point

Death as an end point has a very specific meaning whereby animals are expected to die during the course of a project without intervention. 'Death as an end point' experiments must be strongly justified and may in some instances require ministerial approval.