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Animal Ethics Committee

The University of Sydney supports responsible research

The University of Sydney is strongly committed to supporting the ethical conduct of people who work with animals for scientific research purposes.

The University has two Animal Ethics Committees whose primary role is to protect the welfare of animals used in research and that their use is justified and scientifically worthwhile.

Prior to any research on animals being undertaken, an application must be submitted, reviewed and approved by an Animal Ethics Committee (AEC), as a requirement of the NSW Animal Research Act 1985.

All research at the University is conducted in line with the guidelines set out in the Australian code for the care and use of animals for scientific purposes 8th edition (2013).

Committee membership

Each AEC is composed of approximately 14 people from these four categories:

  • Category A: Veterinarian (three members)
  • Category B: Researcher experienced with the use of animals for scientific or teaching purposes (about six members)
  • Category C: Animal welfare member – animal welfare organisation member or nominee (three members)
  • Category D: Independent member – not associated with animal-based research or the institution except under defined circumstances (two members).

Download the Animal Ethics Committee Terms of Reference.

Animal research ethics complaints and non-compliance

Complaints may relate to:

  • The conduct of a University of Sydney investigator
  • A University of Sydney research project or activity
  • The decisions of the University of Sydney AEC
  • Concerns regarding the care and use of animals

Research ethics non-compliance occurs when an investigator does not comply with the Australian code for the care and use of animals for scientific purposes 8th Edition (2013), or the conditions of their AEC approval.

This may include:

  • Undertaking research activities without AEC approval, where this approval is required;
  • Implementing modifications to a research project without further approval from the AEC;
  • Non-compliance with conditions of ethical approval from the AEC.

To report a concern or raise an issue of non-compliance relating to animal ethics please contact:
The Manager of Ethics Administration
+61 2 8627 8174


Contact the animal ethics team


Ethics and Research Integrity
Margaret Telfer Building (K07)
University of Sydney
NSW 2006


For a full list of research support contacts, visit

AEC Terms of Reference

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