The Animal Ethics Committee (AEC) must be notified in writing of amendments to a project. This includes amendments to the procedures involving animals, changes to personnel and the duration of the project - such amendments require approval by the AEC.

Amendments are to be forwarded to the AEC Secretary for processing prior to AEC review.

Before submitting a request to amend an existing application or notification the responsible person must contact the AEC Secretary to obtain the most recent approved version of the document. Failure to do so will result in the AEC not considering the request.

What you must submit

  • A signed copy (by the current Chief Investigator) of the relevant form (refer below) forwarded to the AEC Secretary at aeec@vu.edu.au
  • One (1) original hard copy of the Ethics Application form highlighting all changes/amendments (signed and authorised by the Chief Investigator)
  • Copy of relevant documentation as attachments.

Electronic copies of all documentation must be forwarded to the AEC Secretary at aeec@vu.edu.au.

Applications will not be processed without the appropriate authorisation.

Note: Researchers/Teaching staff must not commence the changes until the amendment has been formally approved by the AEC.

Requests for changes

A minor change to the procedures involving animals must be approved by the AEC. Applicants will need to submit a signed Request For Minor Amendment To An Approved Project Form to the AEC Secretary at aeec@vu.edu.au.

The AEC will normally grant approval for a maximum of three years for research projects. Applicants requiring an extension to their research project will require approval by the AEC. Extensions are generally granted for a maximum of 12 months.

Applicants will need to submit a signed Request for extension to approved research project form form to the AEC Secretary at aeec@vu.edu.au prior to the project's end date.

The memo must outline the reason for the extension, quoting the AEC approval number, Project Title and progress to date.

A change of Chief Investigator must be approved by the AEC. The current Chief Investigator is required to submit a signed Request for change of Chief Investigator form to the AEC for approval to ensure the project reflects the current details of the Chief Investigator.

The addition or removal of a Co-Investigator must be approved by the AEC. The Chief Investigator is required to submit a signed  Request to add or delete a co-investigator form.

Annual reporting

Continued approval of all ongoing projects is dependent upon the submission of a written Annual Report to the AEC. The AEC Secretary will forward reminders to Chief Investigators in December.

Researchers/Teaching staff are required to submit a Final Report to the AEC upon the completion or discontinuation of a project.

Adverse incidents

Adverse incidents are unanticipated events that negatively impact on the wellbeing of animals during the project. Investigators, teachers and animal facility managers are to promptly notify the AEC of any unexpected adverse events that may impact on the wellbeing of an animal in their care.

Reporting an Adverse Incident is mandatory. It is vital to promptly notify the AEC Secretary at aeec@vu.edu.au who will immediately inform the AEC.

Complaints

Complaints relating to the use of animals or AEC process and procedure should be forwarded to the AEC Secretary at aeec@vu.edu.au who will immediately inform the AEC.

The Animal Use Complaints Procedure will be followed.

Compliance

It is expected that all activities involving animals and animal tissue use will comply with relevant approvals and legislation.

The Animal Use non-compliance procedure will be followed.

Post-approval responsibilities

Your research or teaching activity begins with the approval of the application to the AEC. After approval you must ensure the following.

  • Everyone named on the approved application must have access to the final approved version of the application and understand their responsibilities in relation to the project and have completed VU AEC training.
  • Work needs to be carried out exactly in accordance with the approved application and any cited AEC approved SOPs or Guidelines. If a change is required a request for minor amendment to an approved project form must be completed and approved before any change can be made.
  • Work needs to be carried out only by persons named on the application. A change in Chief Investigator requires completion of the request for change of Chief Investigator form. Adding or removing persons from the approved project must be approved by the AEC prior to work commencing via a .
  • If training in procedures is provided, records of training and attainment of competency must be kept - see AEC Guideline G004 (2013) Training in animal procedures.
  • You must inform the VU Animal Welfare Officer when competency is achieved to allow independent assessment of competency of those using animals.
  • The use of animals should be exactly in accordance with the approved application. You must keep clear and accurate records that document all procedures conducted on animals - see AEC Guideline - Record Keeping.
  • The animals must be housed, fed and provided with enrichment as per the approved application - see AEC Guideline G005 (2013) VU Animal Facility Standard feeding, bedding and enrichment.
  • Animal monitoring records should be kept with the animals and reflect the monitoring specified in the approved application - see AEC Guideline G001 (2013) Animal Monitoring.
  • All those involved in the project must be familiar with the monitoring criteria and humane endpoints as per the approved application.
  • If an adverse incident occurs you report this to the AEC.
  • If animals are unwell or die you must report this to the AEC and undertake appropriate action to enable further investigation - see AEC Guideline G002 Collection of Pathology Samples - laboratory animals.
  • If you become aware of non-compliance in relation to animal use you report to the AEC according to the Animal Use Non-compliant Event Procedure.
  • View and follow the Animal Use Complaints Procedure if you have a concern regarding the use of animals at VU.
  • Familiarise yourself with any changes to relevant Legislation, Codes and Guidelines.
  • Report to the AEC as required in any conditions of approval, annually and at the conclusion of the project.

If you require assistance or advice contact the Animal Welfare Officer or the Animal Facilities Manager.

Contact us

All live animals must be ordered via VU Animal Facilities.

Please direct any feedback or queries to Animal Ethics Committee at aeec@vu.edu.au.

Animal Welfare Officer
Phone: +61 3 9919 4583