This document provides advice on the conduct of animal-based studies to ensure that the studies are rigorous, transparent and reproducible and lead to useful outcomes. It is in line with the Australian Code for the care and use of animals for scientific purposes, 8th edition (2013), which is adopted into legislation across Australia.
The ethical use of animals for scientific purposes is dependent on the quality of the studies; that is, how they are planned, designed, conducted, analysed and reported. Poorly designed studies may not just result in unethical use of animals, but undermines the value of the research and limits its usefulness.
We have developed the Best practice methodology in the use of animals for scientific purposes (2017) (the Guidance) with advice from our Animal Welfare Committee to provide advice on ensuring the quality of animal-based studies. The Guidance provides advice to institutions, researchers, animal ethics committees and animal carers on:
- best practice for the conduct of high quality animal-based studies
- common flaws in how animal-based studies are designed, conducted, analysed and reported
- practical strategies to address these flaws.
The Guidance supports the implementation of the Australian code for the care and use of animals for scientific purposes, 8th edition (2013) (the Code), which is adopted in legislation in all states and territories.
The Guidance is supported by the Australian Research Council, the Commonwealth Scientific Industrial Research Organisation and Universities Australia.
We require research that we fund that involves the use of animals to comply with relevant legislation, the Code and this Guidance.
Other useful resources:
- PREPARE: guidelines for planning animal research and testing
- Improving Bioscience Research Reporting: The ARRIVE Guidelines for Reporting Animal Research
- ARRIVE Guidelines Checklist - see 'Download' section below
Update July 2018
In July 2018, the Guidance was updated to refer to the 2018 Australian Code for the Responsible Conduct of Research, and to include two references about the pre-registration of protocols for animal-based studies.