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Reporting and recordkeeping for investigators and teachers

Investigators and teachers must report to their animal ethics committee (AEC) and keep records on each approved project that uses animals for scientific purposes.

Reporting requirements

We recommend that AECs develop a form to guide investigators and teachers to prepare annual progress and completion reports.

Investigators must provide written annual progress reports to their AEC, which may include:

  • the progress achieved so far
  • any problems that may have interfered with project progress
  • the number of animals used
  • if the wellbeing of the animals is consistent with what was outlined in the proposal
  • whether any changes to the project are expected
  • whether the project is meeting its aims.

The AEC must review the annual progress reports and—in consultation with the investigator—decide to continue, suspend, modify or discontinue the project.

The following reports are required.

Type of report

Recipient of the report

Frequency of reporting

Annual report

AEC

Once each year

Completion report

AEC

At the end of the project

Annual animal use statistics (AUS) report

Biosecurity Queensland - Animal Welfare and Ethics

Once a year

Report on unexpected adverse events

AEC

Whenever an unexpected adverse event occurs

Completion reports to AECs

When a project is completed or discontinued, the investigator or teacher must submit a completion report to the AEC. The completion report should advise the AEC on:

  • whether the project's aims were achieved
  • whether the number of animals used varied from the approved number and, if so, why any major discrepancies occurred
  • whether the wellbeing of the animals was consistent with what was outlined in the proposal
  • how procedures could be modified in future projects to reduce any adverse impacts on animal wellbeing
  • publications and presentations that have resulted from the project.

Recordkeeping

Investigators and teachers must keep records for a minimum of 7 years after all related use of animals is complete.

Correspondence and reports

Investigators and teachers who use animals for scientific purposes must keep complete records of all correspondence with:

  • their institution (e.g. university, department or company)
  • their AEC
  • the animal facility manager
  • collaborators.

This includes:

  • all proposals submitted to the AEC and responses from the AEC (e.g. approval notice or certificate)
  • requests for modifications to approved proposals and responses from the AEC
  • all reports to the AEC and AEC responses to the reports, including:

Records required from investigators

The Australian code for the care and use of animals for scientific purposes (scientific use code) requires investigators to keep the following records.

Recording requirement

Relevant clauses

Investigators must maintain records of the number of animals used to create and maintain the new animal line and the lineage and health status of the animals

Clause 2.4.27 (v)

Records must include:

  • the origin/source of the animals
  • provisions for animals at the conclusion of their use
  • number of animals used
  • details of procedures (dates, substances administered, analgesia and anaesthesia and any unexpected adverse outcomes)
  • the condition of animals, any adverse impact on animal wellbeing and actions taken as a result
  • any additional information requested by the AEC
  • names of people performing the procedures and entering records
  • and
  • names and contact details of people responsible for monitoring and emergency incidents

Clause 2.4.32

When activities involve genetically modified animals, records must include:

  • the number of animals used for the creation and maintenance of genetically modified animals
  • and
  • the lineage and health status of the animals

Clause 2.4.33

Records of the monitoring and assessment of animal wellbeing must be:

  • sufficient to enable the AEC to verify the wellbeing of animals has been monitored as agreed, and allow review and critical investigation of the cause(s) of and response to unexpected adverse events as a basis for future prevention strategies
  • accessible to all people involved in the care of the animal
  • and
  • available for audit by the institution, the AEC and authorised external reviewers

Clause 3.1.22