Any use of animals for scientific purposes must be ethical, humane and responsible.
In Australia, the state and territory governments have regulatory responsibility for animal welfare, including the care and use of animals for scientific purposes.
National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) provides national leadership on the ethical, humane and responsible care and use of animals for scientific purposes through provision of guidance in the Australian code for the care and use of animals for scientific purposes (the Code). The Code is adopted into legislation in all Australian states and territories.
We also provide information to help people ensure that the use of animals is ethical, humane, complies with all relevant legislation and the Code, and meets the highest possible standards. Guidance and resources include:
- animal research during the COVID-19 pandemic, see Download section (below)
- the 3Rs – the Replacement, Reduction and Refinement of the care and use of animals for scientific purposes
- best practice methodology to ensure that animal studies are rigorous, transparent, reproducible and lead to useful outcomes
- use of animals in NHMRC-funded research and the relationship between peer review and ethical review
- meeting the specific and unique needs of Australian native mammals used for scientific purposes
- non-human primates – the regulation and oversight of their care and use, and best practice guidance for this specialised area
- the care and use of genetically modified and cloned animals for scientific purposes
- use of animals for testing of cosmetics and the related 2021 update to the Code
- supporting and safeguarding the wellbeing of animals used for scientific purposes.
- This publication is more than 5 years old and may no longer reflect current evidence or best practice. It is provided for reference purposes.
Animal Welfare Committee
NHMRC's Animal Welfare Committee advises us on issues about the care and use of animals in biomedical research.