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Research and Innovation

CDU Animal Ethics Committee

Animal ethics

Charles Darwin University has one Animal Ethics Committee (AEC). In addition to supporting CDU staff and students, the AEC provides services to several external organisations and individuals.

Our responsibilities

On behalf of their approved users, the AEC is responsible for ensuring that activities relating to the care and use of animals for scientific purposes are conducted in compliance with the Australian code for the care and use of animals for scientific purposes (8th edition, 2013).

Key roles

  • Review submissions to ensure that the use of animals for scientific purposes is justified and complies with the Code.
  • Ensure the welfare of animals used for scientific purposes.
  • Monitor the care and use of animals, including undertaking site and facility inspections.
  • Conduct reviews of approved projects.
  • Ensure appropriate management of unexpected adverse events.
  • Take appropriate action in regard to incidents of non-compliance.

The CDU AEC meets eight times every year. Closing dates for submissions are published alongside each meeting date below. Submission deadlines are approximately two weeks prior to a scheduled AEC meeting.

2021 AEC Meetings

Meeting No. Submission Deadline (by 8:00am) Meeting Date
AEC Meeting 1/21 18 January 3 February
AEC Meeting 2/21 22 February 10 March
AEC Meeting 3/21 5 April 21 April
AEC Meeting 4/21 24 May 9 June
AEC Meeting 5/21 5 July 21 July
AEC Meeting 6/21 23 August 8 September
AEC Meeting 7/21 11 October 27 October
AEC Meeting 8/21 15 November 1 December

When a submission is considered at an AEC meeting, investigators are typically notified of the outcome within seven working days of that meeting.

The AEC can approve submissions only at a quorate meeting, where at least one member of each Category is present. If a scheduled meeting is inquorate, an additional special meeting will be scheduled as soon as possible thereafter. Principal Investigators will be notified promptly should this occur.

New Project and Permit Applications can be reviewed only at a scheduled and quorate AEC meeting. In accordance with the AEC Terms of Reference and the Code, minor and urgent amendments may be considered out-of-session by a nominated Executive Committee. Any request for out-of-session consideration should be included at the time of submission and each such request will be considered case by case. All decisions made by the Executive Committee are subject to ratification at the following AEC meeting.

Please contact the Animal Welfare Officer for further information regarding AEC meetings.

The AEC operates in accordance with the Australian code for the care and use of animals for scientific purposes (the Code); as well as its approved Terms of Reference, CDU policies and procedures, the NT Animal Welfare Act and regulations, and other corresponding state, territory and federal legislation.

AEC Membership

The CDU AEC is comprised of categories of members as described in the Code. An abridged description of each category is provided below.

Category A member

A person with qualifications in veterinary science and with experience relevant to the activities of the institution.

Category B member

A suitably qualified person with substantial recent experience in the use of animals in scientific or teaching activities. This usually entails the possession of a higher degree in research.

Category C member

A person with demonstrable commitment to and established experience in furthering the welfare of animals. This person is not employed by or otherwise associated with the institution, and is not involved in the care and use of animals for scientific purposes.

Category D member

A person who is both independent of the institution and who has never been involved in the use of animals in scientific or teaching activities, either in their employment or beyond their under-graduate 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.

CDU research personnel and students are automatically entitled to access the services of the CDU AEC. Other individuals, organisations and institutions are required to apply to become a registered user. These applications are considered case by case by the AEC during scheduled meetings.

Project applications cannot be reviewed by the AEC unless—and until—the submitting party has been approved as a registered user of the CDU AEC.

It is also the responsibility of the individual, institution or organisation to obtain a licence to use premises for teaching or research involving animals from the NT Animal Welfare Authority, in addition to any licences or permits required in any other states or territories.

For further information regarding applying to become a registered user of the CDU AEC, please contact the Animal Ethics team.

Contact us

If you are have any queries regarding the CDU Animal Ethics Committee, please contact the Animal Ethics team.

T: 08 8946 6063