Policies and Procedures: Animal-welfare
PD Number: PD20110424
Status: TAFE POLICY
The Animal Welfare Policy provides information about the responsibilities of TAFE NSW staff in relation to the use of animals for educational and research purposes.
1. Objectives—Policy statement
All TAFE NSW staff must comply with the legislative and regulatory requirements that govern the use of animals for educational and research purposes.
All TAFE NSW staff must seek approval for the use of animals for teaching purposes and be able to provide an educational justification for such use. Justification must be based on learning principles and the requirements of units of competency derived from relevant national training packages or accredited courses.
All TAFE NSW staff members have a duty to demonstrate exemplary animal welfare practices, consistent with industry codes of practice and community expectations, and to positively reinforce amongst students appropriate attitudes and behaviour and an understanding of ethical issues involved in the use of animals.
All TAFE NSW staff members are required to actively adopt and comply with the principles of “Replacement”, “Reduction” and “Refinement” (3R’s) which are encapsulated in the Australian code for the care and use of animals for scientific purposes (2013) (the Code).
2. Audience and applicability
All TAFE NSW staff, students, workplaces and educational activities, including those undertaken off-campus, which are conducted under the auspices of TAFE NSW.
All licensees or hirers, their staff and invitees, using TAFE NSW premises under agreements to use TAFE NSW premises for teaching or research purposes.
TAFE NSW is governed by specific legislation and regulations in the conduct of any teaching and research activities involving animals which include, but are not limited to collectively “the legislation”:
- NSW Animal Research Act 1985 and the attendant NSW Animal Research Regulation 2010,
- Australian Code for the Care and Use of Animals for Scientific Purposes (2013) (the Code),
- NSW Companion Animals Act 1998,
- NSW Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act 1979.
The Animal Research Act 1985 defines an animal as: “a vertebrate animal, and includes a mammal, bird, reptile, amphibian and fish, but does not include a human being.” The Act protects the welfare of animals in research and requires organisations to be accredited research establishments for that purpose.
The Code sets out the principles for the use of animals pursuant to the Animal Research Act 1985 and establishes “guidelines for the humane conduct of scientific and teaching activities” relating to animals “and for the acquisition and their care, including their environmental needs”.
The Companion Animals Act 1998 and the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act 1979 supplement the obligations under the Animal Research Act 1985 and the Code ensure the welfare, effective care and protection of animals, and prevention of cruelty.
The Animal Research Act 1985 and the Code require teaching and research institutions to establish Animal Ethics Committees. The TAFE NSW Animal Ethics Committee fulfils this legislative requirement.
The use of animals by TAFE NSW Institutes without prior written approval by the TAFE NSW Animal Ethics Committee is a breach of the Animal Research Act 1985. If proven, an organisation may be liable for significant monetary penalties and/or revocation of its appointment as an accredited research establishment.
3.7 Document history and details
Major changes to TAFE NSW Animal Welfare Policy as at 7 May 2015:
- Name changes (‘TAFE NSW Animal Welfare Council’ to ‘TAFE NSW Animal Ethics Committee’, ‘TES’ to ‘TAFE NSW Animal Welfare Secretariat’);
- Changes to responsibilities;
- Addition of ‘Animal Carers and Support Staff’ and their responsibilities;
- Reporting of the species and number of animals used every semester by TAFE NSW Institutes;
- Handling of grievances and complaints with reference to the Guidelines for lodgement of grievances or complaints.
4. Responsibilities and delegations
4.1 Managing Director of the NSW TAFE Commission
seeks accreditation for TAFE NSW as an animal research establishment and licenced animal supplier, and is the named responsible officer.
4.2 TAFE NSW Animal Ethics Committee
ensures that the use of animals in teaching is justified, provides for the welfare of those animals and incorporates the principles of replacement, reduction and refinement;
considers applications for the use of animals in teaching from TAFE NSW Institutes;
approves (subject to any conditions it deems necessary) those applications having regard to the legislation;
monitors the use of animals when applications are approved;
inspects TAFE NSW Institute facilities in which animals are used for teaching and/or research purposes; and
investigates any grievances or complaints about the use of animals in teaching and/or research in TAFE NSW Institutes.
4.3 TAFE NSW Institute Directors
endorse applications for any proposed use of animals and ensure that all applications address the matters set out in the relevant legislation;
submit applications to the TAFE NSW Animal Ethics Committee for approval;
are responsible for compliance with the relevant legislation, including the supervision of all approved animal use and reporting on such use to the TAFE NSW Animal Ethics Committee;
provide appropriate industry-standard facilities and expertise to ensure good animal welfare outcomes for all animals being used for educational purposes or research; and
appoint an Institute Animal Welfare Contact to assist in communication between the Institute and the TAFE NSW Animal Ethics Committee.
4.4 TAFE NSW Institute Managers / Animal Welfare Contacts
ensure that animals held on an Institute campus are maintained appropriately, according to the relevant legislation and the Code;
ensure that care obligations, including the provision of veterinary care and emergency care, apply whenever an animal is present on TAFE NSW premises or in the care of TAFE NSW staff, including weekends, public holidays and vacations;
oversee the procedures for the use of animals as approved by the TAFE NSW Animal Ethics Committee;
are responsible for ensuring that appropriate professional development opportunities in working with animals and animal welfare matters are available to staff.
4.5 Head Teachers
implement this policy and appropriate procedures for the use of animals in teaching and research;
ensure that exemplary animal use practices are applied to comply with legislation as well as meet industry and community expectations;
advise staff and students of their roles and responsibilities in the use of animals for teaching and research purposes, including the availability of standard operating procedures;
provide training and support to teachers;
maintain records relating to all animal use, and
ensure the welfare of the animals in all activities.
follow the TAFE NSW Animal Welfare Policy for the use of animals in teaching within their educational delivery, including the TAFE NSW Standard Operating Procedures;
create and maintain animal use records;
maintain currency on knowledge of animal welfare;
provide training and support to students for adherence to animal welfare requirements;
demonstrate exemplary animal use practices to comply with legislation as well as meet industry and community expectations;
participate in animal welfare audits;
implement the 3Rs (Replacement, Reduction and Refinement) in training delivery; and
notify their Head Teacher of any adverse effects that impact on animal well- being.
4.7 Animal Carers and Support Staff e.g. Technicians and Technical Assistants
apply the principles of the Code in all aspects of animal care;
follow policies and procedures established by the Institutes and the TAFE NSW Animal Ethics Committee;
safeguard and ensure the animals’ wellbeing by monitoring and taking measures to provide species appropriate environment and management, avoiding and minimising harm, pain and distress;
perform duties competently;
maintain records of animal care; and
liaise with Head Teachers and Teachers on matters relevant to the wellbeing of the animals.
4.8 TAFE NSW Animal Welfare Secretariat
liaises with TAFE NSW Institutes in the development of proposals and applications prior to review and approval.
provides administrative support to the TAFE NSW Animal Ethics Committee in the execution of its role.
supports Institutes through the provision of advice, professional development for staff and development of teaching and learning resources to assist in the implementation of appropriate animal welfare practices.
supports TAFE NSW Institutes to conduct and comply with audit protocols, with TAFE NSW Animal Welfare Secretariat staff contributing as lead or support auditors as requested.
5. Monitoring, Evaluation and Reporting Requirements
The Animal Research Review Panel monitors the implementation of the Animal Research Act 1985. The TAFE NSW Animal Ethics Committee will report on animal use activities in TAFE NSW to the Panel annually through the Managing Director TAFE NSW and NSW Department of Primary Industries.
The TAFE NSW Animal Ethics Committee will inspect a number of campuses every year to monitor their use of animals for teaching, in particular their compliance with the legislation and this Policy.
TAFE NSW Institutes are required to perform mandatory bi-annual internal audits regarding their use of animals for teaching. Each semester, TAFE NSW Institutes must provide the results of each audit to the Institute Director and to the TAFE NSW Animal Ethics Committee.
TAFE NSW Institutes, under the conditions of TAFE NSW’s accreditation as an animal research establishment and licensed animal supplier, are required to report on the number and species of animals used every semester to the TAFE NSW Animal Ethics Committee.
TAFE NSW Institutes must maintain comprehensive records documenting the acquisition, maintenance and disposal of all animals used for teaching purposes.
Evacuation and emergency plans must include considerations for safeguarding the welfare of animals held on all TAFE NSW premises.
Grievances or complaints relating to the use of animals must be reported through appropriate channels using the TAFE NSW Animal Ethics Committee Guidelines for lodgement of grievances or complaints in conjunction with the DET Incident Reporting Policy PD/2007/0362. Unexpected adverse events and emergencies involving animals (as defined under section 2.1.5 of the Code) must be reported to the TAFE NSW Animal Ethics Committee in a timely manner. Note: Deliberate acts of cruelty will be treated as serious incidents pursuant to that policy.
TAFE NSW Animal Welfare Secretariat
TAFE NSW Western Institute
1587 Forest Road (PO Box 2161) Orange NSW 2800 Phone: (02) 6393 5923