VU commits to openness in animal research

VU signs Openness Agreement for greater transparency on the use of animals in research.
Thursday 10 August 2023

Victoria University (VU) has boosted its commitment to transparency in using animals for research, by becoming a signatory to the Openness Agreement on Animal Research and Teaching in Australia

Modelled on an agreement established in the UK in 2014, the Australian Openness Agreement is an Australian and New Zealand Council for the Care of Animals in Research and Teaching (ANZCCART) initiative and lists four commitments for greater transparency about the use of animals by research organisations.  

There are currently more than 120 signatories to the UK Concordat on Openness on Animal Research, and a further nine similar agreements have been created worldwide. 

VU is committed to advancing planetary health and conducting research for the benefit of people, place and planet. Where our work involves animals, this means that our institutional values and commitments support minimising the use of animals in research.  

When VU’s work does involve animal models, it is to address real-world problems of local, national and global relevance, covering research areas of chronic disease, biomedical sciences, sports science, and ecology, as well as teaching. 

We adhere to the National Health and Medical Research Council’s Australian code for the care and use of animals for scientific purposes 8th Edition 2013 and in keeping with the Scientific Procedures Premises Licence issued by the Victorian Department of Jobs, Precincts and Regions. 

VU Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research and Impact) Professor Andy Hill said he was proud to be a signatory on the Openness Agreement on Animal Research and Teaching in Australia. 

“Joining the Openness Agreement is a positive step in promoting a culture of openness and transparency in animal research. It is important to us as a values-driven university that we work to enable the community to fully understand and appreciate the importance and necessity of researching with animals,” Professor Hill said.  

This doesn’t change anything for VU Research operationally, we have always conducted our research on animals ethically and with the utmost integrity.

VU is deeply committed to the 3Rs of reduction, replacement and refinement. Steps to improve openness and transparency in the use of animals will improve accountability, contribute to a more informed public and lead to positive outcomes.