Animal ethics overview

The Australian National University's (ANU) Animal Experimentation Ethics Committee (AEEC) approves, monitors and regulates the use of animals in research and teaching carried out at ANU, and ensures that all research involving animals is conducted in accordance with the National Health and Medical Research Council's (NHMRC) Australian Code for the Care and Use of Animals for Scientific Purposes and the ACT Animal Welfare Act 1992. Other important guidelines include The NHMRC's Guidelines to Promoting the Wellbeing of Animals used for Scientific Purposes and A Guide to the Care and Use of Australian Native Mammals in Research and Teaching.

AEEC approval is required before any research or teaching involving animals can commence, this includes observation only studies. The definition of animal being: any live non-human vertebrate (that is, fish, amphibians, reptiles, birds and mammals encompassing domestic animals, purpose bred animals, livestock, wildlife), adult decapod crustaceans and cephalopods. The use of animal cadavers may also require prior ethics approval. Please contact the animal ethics office on 02 6125 4290 if you require assistance.

A quick guide to applying for animal ethics approval can be found at Quick Guide.

New information

Animal Ethics Newsletter

Research Services will now be producing a quarterly animal ethics electronic newsletter with contributions from the ANU Veterinarian, AEEC, Animal Care Staff, Research Staff and ANU Management. If there are topics you'd like to see covered in the newsletter please email with your request. View the April Issue or previous editions of the ANU Animal Ethics Newsletter.

The ANU Veterinarian

Dr Michelle White is the ANU Veterinarian, Research Services Division, effective July 2015. Michelle has over 15 years veterinary experience with a range of animal species and  has worked in private practice in the United Kingdom, South Africa and Australia. Michelle has a primary focus of supporting Researchers and Committee members by providing veterinary oversight and advice where required, this includes routine visits to animal facilities. If you require veterinary advice or support please contact Michelle.

In case of an emergency or unexpected event involving animals, Researchers and/or Facility Managers must contact the Vet via  T: 61251130 immediately. This number is diverted to the mobile phone of the 24/7 on-call veterinarian. A written report must then be provided to the AEEC within 72 hours, send reports to

All non-urgent enquiries are to be directed to or

Reporting animal welfare concerns

Animal welfare concerns may arise when the humane and ethical treatment of animals is not upheld. This may occur in animal holding rooms, production rooms the laboratory or in the field, and may constitute a breach of the Australian code of practice for the care and use of animals for scientific purposes. 

Anyone concerned about the welfare of animals at the ANU should report their concerns to the Executive Officer of the ANU Animal Ethics Committee. Please be assured that concerns will be treated confidentially and sympathetically.  Any such concerns will be discussed at a full meeting of the Animal Experimentation Ethics Committee; membership of the Committee includes animal welfare and community representatives.

Please report animal welfare concerns to or T: 61254290