Animal research

Animal research | Swinburne

The use of animals by Swinburne in teaching and research is in accordance with the provisions of the Victorian Animal Cruelty Prevention Act (1986) and his associates Regulations 2019 as good as Australian Code of Practice for the Care and Use of Animals for Scientific Purposes (2013), published by the National Council for Health and Medical Research.

All projects involving the care and use of live animals or animal tissue must have the approval of the Swinburne Animal Ethics Committee (SAEC) prior to commencement. This includes:

  • fabrics for classroom experiments
  • behavioral studies
  • wildlife census data collection
  • the use of fish
  • animals or tissues obtained from third parties.

How to apply to use animals in your research

The Swinburne Animal Ethics Committee (SAEC) meets a limited number of times each year. Please contact the Office of Research Ethics, Integrity and Biosafety as soon as possible when reviewing project proposals involving animals for the schedule of upcoming meetings.

Before applying, please determine which approach to take:

  • If the Chief Investigator is a Swinburne staff member and the work is to be performed at Swinburne facilities or in the field, approval must be obtained from the Swinburne AEC (SAEC). Requests for approval should be submitted online through the Swinburne Ethics Review Management website.
  • Or if the Chief Investigator is a Swinburne staff member but the work is to be performed at another institution with a separate Scientific Procedures Premises license, approval must be obtained from the Animal Ethics Committee named on the license of premises for scientific procedures of this institution as well as submitted to SAEC for approval. Please email the General Manager of SAEC with a description of your role in the project and attach the approved application and certificate of approval.

To submit an online application:

  1. Go to Management of the Swinburne Ethics Review website.
  2. Click “Login” in the upper right corner of the menu bar and enter your Swinburne email address and password.
  3. Select “Create Project” from the left sidebar, add the project title and select “Animal Ethics Request Form” from the drop-down menu, then click “Create”.
  4. Complete the application – you can also invite your collaborators to review and work on the form.
  5. Create and attach the relevant additional documents as requested in the form.
  6. Obtain the approvals requested in the form.
  7. Submit the application form as soon as possible before the SAEC deadline (Note: Submitting your form before the deadline will ensure that all questions are answered in time for the SAEC meeting).
  8. Answer all questions asked by the ethics committee.
  9. Ethics approval will be granted once all outstanding issues are satisfied. You will receive formal notification of this approval.


Application review process

The primary responsibility of SAEC is to ensure that all activities related to the care and use of animals are carried out in accordance with the Code and that the use of animals is justified, with due regard for the welfare of the animals concerned and incorporates the principles of replacement, reduction and refinement (the three Rs).

All applications will be considered at SAEC quorum meetings, with at least one member from each of these categories present:

  • Category A – veterinarian with experience relevant to the activities of the establishment or the capacity to acquire relevant knowledge.
  • Category B – a suitably qualified person with substantial and recent experience in the use of animals for scientific purposes relevant to the institution and activities of the AEC.
  • Category C – a person with demonstrable commitment and proven experience in promoting animal welfare, who is not employed by or otherwise associated with the institution, and who is not currently involved in the care and maintenance of animals. use of animals for scientific purposes.
  • Category D – a person not employed by or otherwise associated with the establishment and who has never been involved in the use of animals in scientific or teaching activities, whether in the course of his employment or beyond of his undergraduate studies. Category D members must not meet the requirements of any other category.

Result of the request

SAEC will respond with one of the following results:

  • approve the request without modification
  • approve the request with conditions
  • postpone the decision, subject to modification to the satisfaction of the committee
  • not approve the application if they consider that the potential effects on the welfare of the animals concerned have not been justified by the potential benefits of the project.

Applicants will receive notice of SAEC decisions by email within five business days of a SAEC meeting. No project can begin until an official SAEC letter of approval has been obtained.

Amendments to an approved request

Any modification of a project approved by the SAEC will only be granted if the modification is minor and there is no significant change in the orientation of the study. Such a modification may include a change in the number of animals, a minor modification of procedures or techniques, the addition or removal of investigators, or an extension of the duration of the study.

The request to modify an approved animal ethics request can be made by the Chief Investigator and should include a covering letter outlining the proposed changes and the reasons why the modification is necessary.

How to submit a change request:

  • For projects approved from 2020, submit a change request via GRE.
  • For projects approved before and during 2019, submit a change request to the CEO of SAEC.