The University of Queensland has five Animal Ethics Committees (AECs) which review animal ethics applications involving UQ staff, students, or facilities. The committees are duly constituted as required by the Animal Care and Protection Act (2001) QLD and the Australian Code for the Care and Use of Animals for Scientific Purposes  8th edition, 2013 (updated 2021)  'the Animal Use Code'.

The five committees are:

  • Anatomical Biosciences AEC (ABS)
  • Production and Companion Animals AEC (PCA)
  • Molecular Biosciences AEC (MBS)
  • Health Sciences AEC (HS)
  • Native/Exotic Wildlife and Marine Animals AEC (NEWMA)

Download UQ's Terms of Reference for the AECs. (PDF, 386 KB)

Find the closing dates for submission to the AECs.  

Animal Ethics Management Committee (AEMC)

UQ has established an institutional advisory committee for the AECs. The AEMC is the principal consultation group regarding the use of animals and ensures consistency of practices, considerations, determinations and compliance. The AEMC is chaired by the Pro Vice-Chancellor (Research)

The role of UQ AECs

The Code states that the primary responsibility of an AEC is to ensure, on behalf of the institution for which it acts, that all activities relating to the care and use of animals are conducted in compliance with the Australian Code for the Care and Use of Animals for Scientific Purposes (Clause 2.3.1).


  • review applications for research, breeding and teaching activities. AECs take into account the 3Rs, the scientific merit and the cost to the animals versus the benefit of the research or teaching activity
  • review projects and activities and approve continuation only for those projects and activities that conform to the above considerations and the requirements of the Animal Use Code
  • monitor the care and use of animals by inspecting animal facilities, and other work or holding areas and ensure animal wellbeing is monitored and maintained at a high standard
  • approve animal care and use guidelines
  • advise and report to the University and other regulatory bodies as required.

Membership of animal ethics committees

UQ AECs are comprised of at least one person from each of the four Categories of membership: A, B, C and D, in accordance with section 2.2.4 of the Animal Use Code.

Category A

A Category A person is one with qualifications in veterinary science who is recognised for registration as a veterinary surgeon in Australia and with experience relevant to the institution’s activities or the ability to acquire relevant knowledge. Memberships should, wherever possible, be made from within UQ.

Category B

A Category B person is a suitably qualified person with substantial and recent experience in the use of animals for scientific purposes relevant to the institution and the business of the AEC.  The Category B member must possess a higher degree in research or equivalent experience. If the business of the AEC relates to the use of animals for teaching only, a teacher with substantial and recent experience may be appointed. Memberships must be made from within UQ.

Category C

A Category C person is one with a demonstrable commitment to, and established experience in, furthering the welfare of animals, who is not employed by or otherwise associated with UQ and who is not currently involved in the care and use of animals for scientific purposes. Veterinarians with specific animal welfare interest and experience may meet the requirements of this category. While not representing an animal welfare organisation, the person should, where possible, be selected on the basis of active membership of, and endorsement by, such an organisation.

Category D

A Category D person is one not employed by or otherwise associated with UQ and who has never been involved in the use of animals in scientific or teaching activities, either in their employment or beyond their undergraduate education. Category D members should be viewed by the wider community as bringing a completely independent view to the AEC and must not fit the requirements of any other category.


Volunteers play an important and vital role on UQ AECs. It is a legislative requirement that the AECs include members from the general public and from registered animal welfare organisations.

The University of Queensland’s world-class medical and biological research continues to provide solutions to some of the greatest problems of our time:

  • impacts of global warming
  • depletion of animal species
  • feeding an expanding population
  • healthcare needs of ageing Australians
  • infectious diseases
  • soaring rates of diabetes, obesity, heart disease, mental illness, infertility and cancer

Volunteers help strike the right balance between generating great medical, agricultural, and ecological advances and recognising animal welfare and community expectations.

Community volunteers receive:

  • a sitting fee
  • a working lunch at meetings
  • community membership to UQ’s libraries
  • find out what goes on at the coalface of agricultural, biological and medical discovery

To register interest or request further information, contact the Animal Ethics Unit Coordinator