In Queensland the use of animals for research and teaching purposes is regulated by the Animal Care and Protection Act (2001).  The Act is administered by Biosecurity Queensland and places a legal duty of care on people in charge of animals to meet the animals' needs.

Each state has its own Act and, when working in those states, you must abide by the legislation set out in those Acts.

The Australian Code for the Care and Use of Animals for Scientific Purposes (The Animal Use Code) (8th Edition, 2013)  enacted into Queensland law under the Animal Care and Protection Act (2001)  promotes the ethical, humane and responsible care and use of animals used for scientific purposes. It provides guidance for investigators, teachers, institutions, animal ethics committees and all people involved in the care and use of animals.

In addition to the federal and state legislation governing the use of animals used for scientific purposes, the University is committed to the promotion of a culture of responsible and ethical conduct of Research. Accordingly, the University has developed a policy which describes the principles governing the decisions and actions of all researchers and students in the care and use of Animals for Scientific Purposes. This policy should be read in conjunction with the documents cited above, including the Animal Use Code and the Australian Code for the Responsible Conduct of Research.

UQ - Responsible Care and Use of Animals in Teaching and Research Policy

In addition to this policy, the University will continue to develop procedures to support all individuals associated with the University in ensuring they are compliant with the relevant requirements.

UQ - Tracking and Holding Laboratory Animals Outside UQBR Facilities Procedures

Institution and individual registration for animal use

In Queensland, institutions and individuals using animals for scientific activities must be registered with Biosecurity Queensland, and ensure that all use of animals is approved by an Animal Ethics Committee (AEC). The registered number for UQ is 020 and is valid until 22 November 2020. Once UQ staff or students obtain approval to work on a project by a UQ AEC, they are automatically registered. 

Individuals that are not affiliated with UQ or do not satisfy the criteria of being provided a UQ research support deed will need to obtain their own registration, even if the project is approved through a UQ AEC. UQ individuals who undertake scientific activities as part of their allowable consultation period or in a private capacity will also need to obtain their own registration.  Find out more about registering with Animal Welfare and Ethics as an animal user.

UQ registration with interstate and international regulators

UQ is registered with interstate regulatory bodies and UQ staff and students are registered to perform their work using animals in these states (with approval from the relevant AEC).


Victorian Department of Primary Industries, Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act (1986) and the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Regulations (2008). The licence number is SPFL 321 and is valid until 30 June 2021.

South Australia

South Australian Department of Environment and Heritage, Animal Welfare Act (1985).  The licence number is 133 and is valid until 18 January 2019.


Tasmanian Department of Primary Industries and Water, Animal Welfare Act (1993). The licence is valid until 31 December 2019.

Northern Territory

Northern Territory Department of Primary Industries and Water, Animal Welfare Act (1993). The licence number is 007 and is valid until 4 July 2019.

Western Australia

Registered with the Department of Agriculture and Food WA, Animal Welfare Act (2002). The licence number is U 37/2017-2019 and is valid until 31 December 2019.

Other Australian UQ registration

Scientific Research (Restricted Matter) - previously Declared Pest Permit -  QLD Department of Agriculture and Fisheries under the Biosecurity Act (2014). Permit number is PRID000296; valid to 10 April 2020.

Scientific Research (Prohibited Matter) - previously Declared Pest Permit - QLD Department of Agriculture and Fisheries under the Biosecurity Act (2014) . Permit number is PRID000297; valid to 10 April 2020.

UQ registration with international regulatory bodies

The National Institute of Health (USA). The Animal Welfare Assurance Number is A5092-01 and is valid until 30 June 2020.

Convention of International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES). The registration number is AU053 and is valid perpetual (current).

Acronyms and definition of terms

Acronym Title


Animal Ethics Unit

AEUC Animal Ethics Unit Coordinator


Australian and New Zealand Laboratory Animal Society


Australian Quarantine Inspection Service


Australian Research Council

AEUM Animal Ethics Unit Manager


Chief Investigator


Convention International Trade in Endangered Species


Commonwealth Scientific Industry Research Organisation


Consultant Veterinary Officer


Department of Natural Resources and Mines


Department of Agriculture and Fisheries 


Department of Environment and Heritage Protection


Environmental Protection Agency (now known as Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities)


Educational Purposes Permit (Department of Education and Science DES)


Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority


Office of the Gene Technology Regulator


Moreton Bay Marine Park Authority


National Health and Medical Research Council


Officer in Charge

ORE Office of Research Ethics


Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals


Standard Operating Procedure


Scientific Purposes Permit (Department of Environment and Science DES)

Definition of terms used in the context of The Code of Practice for the Care and use of Animals for Scientific Purposes (current edition)

Definition Title Definition

ACPA or The Act

Animal Care and Protection Act (2001)


Alternatives to the use of live animals in research and teaching e.g. videos, in vitro work, etc.


Any live non-human vertebrate, that is, fish, amphibians, reptiles, birds and mammals, encompassing domestic animals, purpose-bred animals, livestock, wildlife, and also cephalopods such as octopus and squid.

Animal Ethics Committee (AEC)

A committee constituted in accordance with the terms of reference and membership laid down in The Code.

Animal wellbeing

An animal's quality of life based on an assessment of an animal's physical and psychological state as an indication of how the animal is coping with the ongoing situation as well as a judgment about how the animal feels.

Biological product

Biological products are products derived from animals to be used for scientific purposes, including blood products, vaccines, antisera, semen, antibodies and cell lines.

Chair, Chairperson

The person who conducts an AEC meeting.


A genetic copy of another living or dead animal.  It is not a twin derived by the fertilisation of an egg by a sperm (see Somatic cell nuclear transfer).

The Animal Use Code

Australian Code for the Care and Use of Animals for Scientific Purposes (current edition).


Acting in accordance with The Code.

Conflict of interest

A situation in which an AEC member has an interest that may either influence or appear to influence their objectivity in the exercise of their duties as a member of the AEC.


The outcome of a decision making process whereby the legitimate concerns of members accept the final decision, even though it may not be an individual's preferred option.

Death as an end-point

When the death of an animal is the deliberate measure used for evaluation biological or chemical processes, responses or effects.  That is, where the investigator or teacher will not intervene to kill the animal humanely before death occurs in the course of a scientific activity.


The state of an animal, that has been unable to adapt completely to stressors, and that manifests as abnormal physiological or behavioural responses.  It can be acute or chronic and may result in pathological conditions.


A framework in which actions can be considered as good or bad, right or wrong.  Ethics is applied in the evaluation of what should or should not be done when animals are proposed for use, or are used, for scientific purposes.


The humane killing of an animal, in the interests of its own welfare, to alleviate pain and distress (see Humane killing).


Places where animals are kept including yards, paddocks, tanks, ponds and buildings.

Genetic modification (of animals)

The use of any technique for the modification of genes or other genetic material, but not including the use of natural processes such as sexual reproduction.

Humane killing

The process of killing an animal with minimal pain and distress (see Euthanasia).

Invertebrate animals

Animals without a backbone e.g. insects, worms, octopus, crabs, squid and snails.

Investigator or teacher

Any person who uses animals for scientific purposes.


Animals that are used in commercial agriculture and aquaculture.


Measures undertaken to assess the wellbeing of animals in accordance with The Animal Use Code.  This occurs at different levels.  For example, at the level of the researcher and animal facility manager, monitoring is undertaken to assess the wellbeing of animals that are used and cared for, and at the level of the AEC, monitoring is undertaken to assess the adequacy of standards of animal care and use.


An unpleasant sensory and emotional experience associated with actual or potential tissue damage.  It may elicit protective actions, result in learned avoidance and distress and may modify species-specific traits of behaviour, including social behaviour.


Personnel involved in a project

Pest species

An animal, usually introduced, declared by legislation as a pest in Australia/Queensland, e.g. rabbits and xenopus frogs.


A scientific activity or activities that form a discrete piece of work.  A project cannot commence until it has been approved by an AEC.


A written application to carry out a project for consideration by an AEC.

The regulator

Department of Agriculture and Fisheries

Scientific activity

An activity required to achieve the scientific purposes.

Scientific purposes

All those purposes which aim to acquire, develop or demonstrate knowledge or techniques in any area of science including teaching, field trials, environmental studies, research, diagnosis, product testing, and the production of biological products.

Somatic cell nuclear transfer

The technique of inserting a nucleus of a cell from one of the body's tissues, other than a germ cell (a somatic cell) into an egg that has had its nucleus removed.

Standard Operating Procedure (SOP)

Detailed description of a standardised procedure.


Developing, imparting or demonstrating knowledge or techniques in any area of science.

Vertebrate animals

Animals having a backbone, e.g. humans, amphibians, mammals, most fish, reptiles and birds.

Vertebrate pest animals

Animals, including non-indigenous (introduced and feral) and native species, that are generally regarded, or have been declared under State or Territory legislation, as a pest species.

Voucher specimen

Any specimen, usually but not always a dead animal, that serves as a basis of study and is retained as a reference.  "Type" specimen is a particular voucher specimen that serves as a basis for taxonomic description of that subspecies.


The transplantation of living organs, tissues or cells from one species to another.  It includes xenotransplantation for therapeutic purposes.


Free-living animals of native, non-indigenous or feral species including captive-bred animals and those captured from free-living populations.