Whether a particular activity requires University Animal Ethics Committee (UAEC) approval depends on whether or not the activity meets the following three criteria:
- Involves a legally defined 'animal'
- Includes 'use' of the animal
- The use is specifically 'for a scientific purpose'
Ensure that you understand the definitions of 'scientific purposes', 'animal' and 'use' according to the Animal Code and legislation.
If a project meets all three criteria above, UAEC approval is required.
There can be 'grey areas', particularly in assessing 'use' of an animal. For example, use of an animal can include observational activities, collection of scats, photographic, sound or digital recordings, even if interaction with animals is not the primary purpose of the activity. This is because it may disrupt the habitat and wellbeing of the animals – e.g. undertaking drone work near a bird habitat.
If you think your project does not require UAEC approval, please review our Tissue Use and Outside Scope information or email us to discuss and confirm requirements. It is your obligation to seek the correct approvals.
Planning to work outside Queensland?
There is variation in the statutory requirements of each state and territory in Australia. If you plan to care and use animals for scientific purposes in states and territories other than Queensland, please call 07 3138 2340 or email us as soon as possible; there may be additional accreditations that QUT and the University Animal Ethics Committee (UAEC) may need to obtain, which can take some months.
Licences and permits
You may need to obtain other approvals, authorisations, permits and/or licences before you can commence your project. It is the responsibility of each investigator, and particularly the Project Supervisor, to ensure that all the necessary documentation has been obtained from the relevant authorities, so make sure you find out what you need early when planning your project. See Wildlife licence and permit schemes in Australia for links to relevant goverment authorities.
Frequently asked questions
Do I need UAEC approval:
- to use dead animals?
- for animal observational activities?
- to microchip/pit tag or track injured wildlife using collars (radio or satellite) for release back into the wild?
- for 'routine husbandry procedures'?
- to teach or perform 'routine husbandry procedures' at schools or tertiary institutions such as agricultural colleges?
- for work experience, agricultural extension or other 'observational' training?
- for displays and demonstrations using animals?
- for routine regulatory activities?
- for disease surveillance?
- to band birds or bats in Queensland?
- to purchase, keep and use Drosophila (fruit flies) for teaching?