The guidelines were developed to promote the wellbeing of animals used for scientific purposes and aim to minimise their experience of pain and distress. They advocate the consideration of an animal’s “whole of life” experiences, argue the potential risk to the reliability/validity of research data from unintended pain or distress, and promote the 3R’s (replacement of animal research with other types of research when possible, reduction of the number of animals used in research and refinement of research techniques to minimise pain and distress). They include strategies to identify, minimise and manage pain and distress and a series of fact sheets to provide guidance for researchers.
The guidelines were developed, after extensive public consultation, by a working group consisting of Animal Welfare Committee Members, researchers and experts from institutions on animal care authorities.
The guidelines should be read in conjunction with the 2004 NHMRC Australian Code of Practice for the Care and Use of Animals for Scientific Purposes.
he guidelines have been produced in an A4 loose leaf folder and will be updated as required. Changes will be publicised on the NHMRC website.
Table H1 Methods of humane killing and euthanasia in rats and mice, page H4 has been updated as of 20 August 2008. All copies of the guidelines downloaded prior to this date can be updated by downloading the replacement page.