Rose M. Education and training for researchers in laboratory animal science in Australia [abstract]. ALTEX. 2009;26(Special Issue):166


Under the Australian Code of Practice for the Care and Use of Animals for Scientific Purposes (2004), which is the key national policy concerning such activities, primary responsibility for the welfare of the animals is vested in the scientist. The Code details principles that guide a decision as to if and how animals are used. Institutional Animal Ethics Committees must be satisfied that a case has been made that any use of animals is justified taking into consideration the scientific merit of a proposal and evidence that the principles of Replacement, Reduction and Refinement have been critically applied in the planning and proposed conduct of the study.

The Code requires institutions to ensure that scientists are aware of their responsibilities and so to provide education programs, including on-going training, seminars and workshops. For students undertaking research training, the Code requires they receive instruction in their ethical and legal responsibilities, as well as the appropriate methods for animal care and use.

The nexus between achieving scientific and animal welfare outcomes is a core element of the Code. Evidence-based guidelines such as those recently published on ways to promote wellbeing promote a focus on the 3Rs and support education programs.

Institutions have developed programs customised to their particular needs. This paper will describe several such programs and how the use of alternatives is promoted both in the context of educational activities and as a key component to planning projects and the responsible conduct of such research.

Link to journal: ALTEX - Alternatives to Animal Experimentation