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Applications and reports

At the University of Southern Queensland (USQ), all work involving animals, cadaver animals, and cadaveric animal tissue must be assessed and appropriate approvals obtained before commencing. 
How to submit a new application

A new animal research/ teaching applications can be completed on the following application forms:

Refer to meeting dates for details on submission timelines. 

Note: If your research is to be conducted in an Australian state outside Queensland, please contact the Ethics Office to confirm USQ has a current registration in the state.

***Please note the USQ AEC Executive review pathway will be shut from Monday 29 November 2021 until Tuesday 1 February 2022***

If you need to make changes or request an extension to your approved application, the changes must be reviewed and approved by the USQ Animal Ethics Committee before implementation. 

How to complete and submit an amendment 

  1. Complete the Amendment to Existing Project Checklist (DOC) 
  2. Using tracked changes make the required amendments to the currently approved application 
  3. Submit the completed documents to the Ethics Office

The Ethics Office will determine the appropriate review pathway in conjunction with the USQ AEC Amendment Classification Guide (PDF)

It is a standard condition of Animal Ethics Committee approval that a milestone report is submitted annually on 31 December and upon completion of the project.
A report is submitted to the Ethics Office via the USQ AEC Milestone Report (DOC)

It is a requirement that the USQ Animal Ethics Committee (AEC) is informed of all research being undertaken by the University of Southern Queensland researchers (staff and students).

If a research project has been approved by another AEC and involves USQ researchers, then a submission needs to be made to the USQ AEC for noting. 

The following documents need to be submitted to the Ethics Office:

  • AEC approval letter or notification
  • AEC application 
  • Standard Operating Procedures (if required)
  • Any additional supporting documents 

If your project involves no interference with animals and no abnormal disruption of habitat. Your project is exempt from USQ AEC review if you also answer “YES” to one or more of the following questions:

  • only involves the use of animals that are not legally defined as an animal in the state or territory in which the work will be undertaken, e.g. insects
  • observing animals, e.g. bird watching, recording animal tracks. Note: this does not cover spotlighting
  • taking photographs or recordings (sound or digital). Note: this does not cover cameras with a flash or cameras left in the field. 
  • collection of animal scats - with no animal interaction or environmental (habitat) disruption.  
  • collection of shed feathers - with no animal interaction or environmental (habitat) disruption.  
  • recording animal tracks using shallow sand pans 
  • use of organs or other material from animals euthanised as part of routine commercial food and fibre production, e.g. from the butcher
  • use of cadavers or samples from animals euthanised at veterinary clinics or shelters from other veterinary or management reasons
  • use of samples from animals euthanised as part of a routine, unmodified pest animal control program
  • use of cadavers or samples from animals found dead, e.g. roadkill
  • use of tissue samples stored in laboratories from animals whose care and euthanasia has already been approved and monitored as part of an earlier AEC approved activity. 

If your project does not meet the above exemption requirements, you will be required to submit an Animal Ethics application for review.

If you need a formal exemption letter; requests can be submitted via the Exemption application form to the Ethics Office. If you need further information or confirmation your project is exempt, please contact the Ethics Office

Although your activity may not require USQ AEC approval, it may require review and approval through other processes. For example, USQ Safety Risk Management Plan, USQ Biosafety, permit requirements, etc.

If an adverse or unexpected event occurs during or as a result of the research (or teaching) an USQ AEC unexpected adverse event report must be submitted to the Ethics Office.

An unexpected and/or adverse event is any event that occurs that may have a negative impact on the wellbeing of animals and was not expected in the approved project. 

An unexpected and/or adverse event may result from different causes, including but not limited to:

  • death of an animal, or group of animals that was not expected 
  • adverse effects following a procedure or treatment that were not expected
  • adverse effects in a larger number of animals than predicted during the planning of the project or activity, based on the number of animals actually used, not the number approved for the study
  • a greater level of pain or distress than was predicted during the planning of the project or activity
  • power failures, inclement weather, emergency situations or other factors external to the project or activity that have a negative impact on the welfare of the animals.