At the University of Southern Queensland (USQ), all work involving animals, cadaver animals, and cadaveric animal tissue must be assessed and appropriate approvals obtained prior to work commencing.
The USQ AEC Exemption form is a quick and easy way for USQ Research Workers (researchers, teachers, and technical staff) to check if their work with animals (and/or cadaver animals and cadaveric animal tissue) might need ethical approval by the USQ Animal Ethics Committee (USQ AEC) or be eligible to apply for an exemption.
The Animal Care and Protection Act 2001 (Qld) requires that any person using animals for scientific purposes for research or teaching must:
- first obtain ethical approval OR exemption from ethical review approval from an animal ethics committee (AEC)
- comply with the Australian Code for the Care and Use of Animals for Scientific Purposes, 8th Edition, 2013 (the Code)
- ensure adequate records are maintained for a minimum of seven years following any AEC approved project (Record keeping for investigators and teachers)
- submit reports as requested by an AEC, e.g, annual progress reports, project completion reports, and unexpected and adverse event reports.
Commencing a project without prior written approval from an Animal Ethics Committee may be subject to criminal prosecution under the Animal Care and Protection Act 2001 (Qld).
For the purposes of the Queensland Act, an animal is defined as follows. :
- any live vertebrate including amphibians, birds, fish, mammals and reptiles
- cephalopod invertebrates (octopus, squid, cuttlefish and nautilus)
- live pre-natal or pre-hatched animals in the last half of gestation, for example, mammalian or reptilian foetuses, pre-hatched avian, mammalian or reptilian young and live marsupial young.
The Act does not consider a human being or human foetus to be an animal, nor are the eggs, spat or spawn of fish.
Please note that the definition of an animal varies between Australian States/Territories and that reference to the relevant Act and Regulations in which the work will be conducted must be undertaken by those proposing to work with or use animals.