The primary role of the Animal Ethics Committee (AEC) is to ensure that all animal care and use is conducted in accordance with the Australian Code for the Care and Use of Animals for the Scientific Purposes and incorporates the 3 R's principles of replacement, reduction and refinement.

The AEC oversees and monitors the use of animals in teaching and research. The scope of the AEC includes:
  • Alternatives to animal use
  • Animal Monitoring program and records
  • Health
  • Diet
  • Source
  • Transport
  • Housing
  • Skills of Investigators
  • Species
  • Methods
  • Statistics
  • Justifications
  • Re-use impact
  • Time frame

Who is on it?

There are at least 4 persons on an AEC, in the following categories:
  • Veterinary Surgeon
  • Researcher with experience using animals
  • Animal Welfare Advocate
  • Community Member with no related prior experience

The AEC at Murdoch University has two representatives in each category.

In addition to the above members, the AEC at Murdoch University also includes a Chairperson, who does not represent any particular category, a member who has advanced training in mathematics and statistics, and a researcher with experience utilising techniques where animals are not required.

The current Chair of the AEC is Dr Serina Hancock.

Counsel is provided by people responsible for the routine care of animals (Animal House Manager and Animal Farm Manager) and Research Ethics and Integrity (Animal Ethics Advisor and the Manager Research Ethics and Integrity).

Established mechanisms and procedures of the committee are documented in its Operating Statement including the Terms of Reference.

Executive Committee

The Murdoch University AEC has an Executive Committee consisting of representatives from all categories. They can approve minor modifications to procedures. All decisions by the Executive are reviewed and ratified at the next meeting.



2024 Meeting dates

Agendas Deadline (Wednesday)Meeting dates (Tuesday)
January 18January 30
February 1February 13 (Annual reports)
February 14February 27
March 13March 26
April 17April 30
May 15May 28
June 12June 25
July 17July 30
August 14August 27
September 18October 1
October 23November 5
November 20December 3



AEC decisions

Outright approval: Work using animals MAY commence.

Subject to: Work using animals MAY commence with restrictions, requirements or clarifications on the approval which MUST be adhered to.

Conditional: The proposed use of animals is not approved and work using animals MUST NOT commence. With further satisfactory information provided, approval may be granted.

Not approved (resubmit): An application may be resubmitted. Access to animals is denied.

Not Approved (no resubmit): Resubmission of the application will not change the outcome. Access to animals is denied.