The purpose of the Australian code for the care and use of animals for scientific purposes 8th edition 2013 (updated 2021) (the Code) is to promote the ethical, humane and responsible care and use of animals used for scientific purposes. The ethical framework and governing principles set out in the Code -provide guidance for investigators, teachers, institutions, animal ethics committees and all people involved in the care and use of animals for scientific purposes.
The Code encompasses all aspects of the care and use of animals for scientific purposes where the aim is to acquire, develop or demonstrate knowledge or techniques in any area of science—for example, medicine, biology, agriculture, veterinary and other animal sciences, industry and teaching. It includes their use in research, teaching associated with an educational outcome in science, field trials, product testing, diagnosis, the production of biological products and environmental studies. In 2021, a new section was added to the Code (Section 7) to ban the use of animals for testing of chemical ingredients in cosmetics and for testing of finished cosmetic products.
The Code provides an ethical framework and governing principles to guide the decisions and actions of all those involved in the care and use of animals. It details the responsibilities of investigators, animal carers, institutions, and animal ethics committees, and describes processes for accountability.
The Code applies to the care and use of all live non-human vertebrates and cephalopods. It applies throughout the animal’s involvement in activities and projects, including acquisition, transport, breeding, housing, husbandry, the use of the animal in a project, and the provisions for the animal at the completion of their use.
The Code is endorsed by the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC), the Australian Research Council, the Commonwealth Scientific Industrial Research Organisation and Universities Australia.
Compliance with the Code is a prerequisite for receipt of NHMRC funding.
- 2021 addition of a new section (Section 7) to the Code to ban the use of animals for cosmetic testing
- NHMRC working committees involved with the development of the Code - See downloads