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Animal Research Ethics

It is the responsibility of the Animal Ethics Committee (AEC) to ensure, on behalf of the University, that all care and use of animals is conducted in compliance with the Australian Code for the Care and Use of Animals for Scientific Purposes, 8th edition, 2013 (NHMRC). The role of the AEC is to ensure that the use of animals is justified, provides for the welfare of the animals and incorporates the principles of replacement, reduction and refinement (also known as 'the three R's').

  • Replacement of animals with other methods
  • Reduction in the number of animals used
  • Refinement of techniques used to reduce the impacts on animals

All staff and students who will be conducting research or demonstration teaching projects that involve the use of live vertebrate animals must apply to Macquarie University's Animal Ethics Committee for ethics approval. This includes the use of animals in research, teaching, field trials, product testing, diagnosis, the production of biological products and environmental studies. Observational studies of wildlife also require AEC approval.


If the project involves the use of recombinant DNA, potential pathogens, radioactive isotopes or other hazardous substances the project may need clearance from the Biosafety Committee.

Animal Ethics Newsletters