Information for Researchers on Applications to Animal Ethics Committees
If you are working with animals in New Zealand for research or teaching then it is likely that you will need to apply for Animal Ethics Committee (AEC) approval. Information about legislation and requirements to meet can be found in the Guide to the Animal Welfare Act published by the Ministry for Primary Industries.
Ten top tips for animal ethics application success
Preparing ethical approval applications can be a challenging exercise for many researchers. Many proposals are sent back to applicants for modification before approval can be granted. To assist researchers in the preparation of animal ethics applications the University of Melbourne has produced a brochure, based on an analysis of past AEC decisions, to provide some helpful advice. ANZCCART (NZ) has reviewed this document and strongly endorses its use by the New Zealand research community. The document covers the following 10 topics:
Writing with purpose in mind
Writing for a non-scientific audience
Providing a clear narrative and chronology
Including and reconciling scientific information
Justifying and minimising animal numbers
Assembling the right team
Piloting and/or staging the project
Monitoring and documenting the animals
Getting surgery and pain management right
Making the endpoint clear
Download the brochure for more information.
When you are drafting your animal ethics application you need to consider each of the points listed above. In addition to demonstrating good experimental design and sound reasoning for conducting your work, you will also need to demonstrate that you can meet the normal husbandry requirements for the animals including providing for their nutrition, environment, health, behaviour and mental state to behave normally (the RNZSPCA Five Domains). Lastly, you need to show that you have considered the Three Rs animal welfare principles in your experimental design.