Initiated by our scientific community, The Australian Code of Practice for the Care and Use of Animals for Scientific Purposes (the Code) governs any use of vertebrate and cephalopod animals used for research, teaching or product testing in medicine, biology, agriculture, veterinary, environmental or animal sciences.
The Code sets the standards and requirements to conduct these activities ethically across all AAWS sectors and emphasises the responsibilities of all involved to achieve the best possible welfare for the animals whilst still achieving innovative scientific outcomes.
Worldwide recognition of the Code has lead the International Council on Laboratory Animal Science and the Council of International Organisations for Medical Science to seek Australian representation for the Council’s Working Groups and has influenced the development of comparable documents, for example in New Zealand and Singapore.
The Guidelines to Promote the Wellbeing of Animals was published in 2008 to support the Code and has also been widely endorsed as an international benchmark.
The participation of animal welfare and community representatives in the ethical review and monitoring procedures as well as public consultations as part of the revision process facilitates an awareness and broad consideration of animal welfare issues in this sector.