Animal Ethics Committee

The St Vincent’s Hospital (Melbourne) Animal Ethics Committee (AEC) is responsible for ensuring that all activities relating to the care and use of animals are conducted in compliance with the ‘Australian code for the care and use of animals for scientific purposes’ 8th Edition 2013.

All research and teaching involving the use of animals must receive final approval from the St Vincent’s Hospital (Melbourne) AEC before commencing.

 

Terms of Reference 2017

 

Important changes

Submission fees.

As of 1 April 2018 all fees are payable in full at the time of submission and invoices will no longer be issued.

Payments can be made by Credit Card, Internal Transfer, Electronic Funds Transfer or Cheque.

AEC Fee Form

 

The AEC fee structure has been reviewed and as of 1 April 2018 fees will be introduced for contract research applications and amendments.

New fee structure (excluding GST):

Project Application - $500

Contract Research Application - $2000

Modification - $200

Minor Change - $100

 

Submission of hardcopies

The AEC are transitioning to an electronic agenda and the requirement for hardcopies will be reduced.

As of the 25 April 2018 closing date only 8 copies are required for submissions plus original signed copy.

 

Updated AEC Project Application Form

The AEC Project Application Form has been updated and changes include:

  • Stuart ID number for strains must be completed
  • New questions relating to housing, husbandry and care of animals
  • New additional information questions
  • Research Team Member Form is now a separate document and is not included within the project application form. A form must be submitted for each research team member with the project application. 

These updated forms must be submitted for all AEC Project Applications as of the 29 August 2018 closing date.

AEC Project Application Form

AEC Project Application_ Research Team Member Form

Meeting dates:

2018 AEC Meeting Dates / Agenda Closing Dates 

Please note that the September AEC meeting will be held one week earlier on 12 September 2018.

There is no change to the 29 August closing date  

The AEC reviews research projects for:  

  • St Vincent's Hospital, Fitzroy campus
  • St Vincent’s Institute
  • Bionics Institute
  • University of Melbourne at St Vincent’s   
  • Centre for Eye Research Australia

For further information, please contact Melanie Asquith, AEC Secretary on 03 9231 3872 or email research.ethics@svhm.org.au


Quick links

Applications

Types of Applications

New Project Applications

All new applications must be submitted by the monthly submission closing date:

2018 AEC Meeting Dates / Agenda Closing Dates

Please ensure the following standard templates are used when writing a new application:

 

The following hard copies are required:

  • Fee Form - Signed original + 1 copy
  • Project Application -  Signed original + 8 double sided copies
  • Research Team Member Form - Signed original + 8 copies
  • Letter from Radiation Safety Officer (as applicable) - 1 hard copy
  • Fieldwork Notification Form (as applicable) - 1 hard copy

 

NB – Incomplete applications cannot be accepted and will be returned to the research team.
      
Please ensure all signatures are included:

  • Principal Investigator
  • Research Team Members
  • Head of Department  
  • Animal Facility Manager

New Breeding Applications

All new applications must be submitted by the monthly submission closing date:

2018 AEC Meeting Dates / Agenda Closing Dates

Please ensure the following standard templates are used when writing a new application:

 

The following hard copies are required:

  • Fee Form - Signed original + 1 copy
  • Breeding Application -  Signed original + 8 double sided copies

 

NB – Incomplete applications cannot be accepted and will be returned to the research team.
      
Please ensure all signatures are included:

  • Principal Investigator
  • Research Team Members
  • Head of Department  
  • Animal Facility Manager

Generate and Breed a New Mouse Line (GBNML)

There are two GBNML application forms:

 

Once the phenotype is established/characterised an application to the AEC should be submitted to transfer the line to Specified Animal Breeding Colony Group (SABC).  

Please ensure the following standard templates are used when preparing GBNML applications:  

 

All GBNML applications must be submitted by the submission closing date.

Submit original signed application + 8 double sided copies

2018 AEC Meeting Dates / Agenda Closing Dates

Generate and Breed a New Mouse Line (GBNML) Renewals

 

A GBNML can be renewed for an additional 3 years for lines that require further time to establish/characterise the phenotype.

As soon the phenotype is characterised, an application to transfer the GBNML to SABC should be submitted to the AEC.

 

There are two types of GBNML renewals:  

GBNML renewal with no additional animals requested:

Application is reviewed by AEC Executive.

No additional animals are required as the balance of the original approved number of animals is sufficient to establish/characterise the line.

There is no closing date for submission, submit original signed application only.

 

GBNML renewal with additional animals requested:

Application is reviewed at quorate AEC meeting.

Additional animals are required to continue to establish/characterise the line.

Submit original signed application + 8 double sided copies by the closing date.

2018 AEC Meeting Dates / Agenda Closing Dates

 

Please ensure the following standard templates are used when preparing GBNML renewal applications:  

 

Transferring a GBNML to an SABC (Specified Animal Breeding Colony)

All transfers of a GBNML to an SABC must be submitted by the submission closing date:

2018 AEC Meeting Dates / Agenda Closing Dates

For lines being bred under a GBNML approval - As soon the phenotype is characterised, an application to transfer the GBNML to SABC should be submitted to the AEC for review.

Please ensure the following standard template is used:

 

The following hard copies are required:

  • Original signed application + 8 double sided copies

Transfer of an Established Strain from Another Institution (SABC)

Please complete the following templates if you wish to transfer an established strain from another institution:  

 

The following hard copies are required:

  • Application to Transfer an Established Strain from Another Institution (SABC) - 1 original + 8 double sided copies

 

All documents must be submitted by the agenda closing date.

2018 AEC Meeting Dates / Agenda Closing Dates


Applications should be submitted to:

Research Governance Unit

Level 5
Aikenhead Building (Building E)
27 Victoria Parade, FITZROY

Or:
Research Governance Unit
St Vincent's Hospital
PO Box 2900
FITZROY VIC 3065

For further information, please contact Melanie Asquith, AEC Secretary on 03 9231 3872 or email research.ethics@svhm.org.au

Amendments

Types of Amendments

Application for Amendment to Approved Project (Minor Change or Modification)

Fieldwork Notification

Change Members of a Research Team

Minor Change

A minor change does not raise any ethical issues and can include:

  • a different strain of animals
  • substitution of agents with similar ones
  • change in procedure/technique provided it doesn’t increase BAW impact

Minor changes are reviewed by AEC Executive and noted by the AEC at the next quorate meeting.

There are no closing dates for submissions; requests can be submitted at any time.


For minor changes please submit signed original hard copy (no additional copies required):

Please ensure your revised application is signed by the Principal Investigator.
 

Modification

A modification raises ethical issues and can include:

  • change in procedure/technique which increases impact on animals
  • additional procedure/s
  • additional animals
  • any proposed change that increases risk or impacts animal welfare

Modifications are reviewed by the AEC at a quorate meeting. Modifications must be submitted by the closing date before a scheduled meeting.

2018 AEC Meeting Dates / Agenda Closing Dates

 

For modifications please submit the following:

Please ensure your revised application is signed by the Principal Investigator
 

Fieldwork Notification 

A Fieldwork Notification is required if you wish to conduct a procedure in a facility not listed on the SPPL the AEC project is approved under.

A Fieldwork Notification would usually be submitted either with a project application or amendment application.

For Fieldwork, please submit the following:

Change Members of a Research Team

If you wish to add a new research team member to an approved project an Application to Change a Member of a Research Team must be submitted.

Applications are reviewed by AEC Executive and noted by the AEC at the next quorate meeting.

There are no closing dates for submissions; requests can be submitted at any time.

Please submit the following: 

 

All applications should be submitted to:

Research Governance Unit

Level 5
Aikenhead Building (Building E) 
27 Victoria Parade, FITZROY
Or:
Research Governance Unit
St Vincent's Hospital
PO Box 2900
FITZROY VIC 3065
 

For further information, please contact Melanie Asquith, AEC Secretary on 03 9231 3872 or email research.ethics@svhm.org.au

Extensions

AEC approved projects are eligible for a time extension to assist with data analysis and finalization of the project.

During the time extension period the project should not be amended, however applications to change members of a research team or minor changes may be reviewed by AEC Executive on a case-by-case basis.

If the project remains incomplete at the end of the time extension period a new project application must be submitted.

There are no submission deadlines to request an extension, however time extension requests must be submitted at least two weeks before the project expiry date.

To request an extension please submit the following application:

 

Time extensions will not be granted to expired protocols.
Only one time extension can be granted to a project. 


For further information, please contact Melanie Asquith, AEC Secretary on 03 9231 3872 or email research.ethics@svhm.org.au

Reporting Requirements

The following reporting requirements must be complied with for each approved project:

Annual Progress Report

The STV AEC Annual Progress Report is due on the anniversary of approval each year. A report should be submitted for all approved projects, regardless of whether any animals were used. Courtesy reminders may be sent to the Principal

Investigator in the month that the report is due. The continuation of all approved animal ethics is reliant on submission of an annual report. Failure to submit an annual report may result in ethics approval being withdrawn.

Annual Progress Report

Final Progress Report

The STV AEC Final Progress Report must be submitted for all AEC projects which are not commenced, commenced and discontinued or completed. Final reports must be submitted within 6 months following the project expiry, completion or discontinuation.

Annual Animal Use Return

The compulsory completion of a Annual Animal Use Return (as required by DEDJTR) must also be submitted.

Researchers will be contacted by the Research Governance Unit in December each year, with a request to complete the annual report from DEDJTR. These forms must be completed and returned by the deadline specified (February).

A report is to be completed for each project in which animals were used in the reporting year by completing the spreadsheet accordingly. If animals were not used for any projects in the reporting year, the AEC Secretary must be notified with which projects have had no animal use and the spreadsheet does not need to be completed for those projects. Animals may have been used for a project, but not euthanized yet; these animals must be reported on the spreadsheet for this year and next year.

Please also complete the spreadsheet for each GBNML you are responsible for. 

 

Researchers who fail to complete and return an annual report are in breach of the Code, and will have the approval for their project immediately withdrawn.

 

Review of Records - Monitoring

As a condition of approval, appropriate records specific to the experimental use of animals must be maintained. Records must be kept so that the experimental journey of one animal can be followed from start to finish.

To ensure this occurs researchers may be subject to random reviews of records. These reviews are regarded as a learning experience to assist and advise researchers on maintaining their records, applying for an AEC minor change or modification if the protocol changes and how to approach Adverse Incident Reporting.

Researchers who have been selected for a Research Records Review will be contacted by the AEC Secretary 1 week before the review to organise a mutually convenient time.  Up to three AEC members will then visit the department and review the research records. A report on the findings is submitted to the researcher, and the AEC.

Animal Facility Monthly Reports

(For staff working within the Animal Facility)

Researchers and personnel responsible for animal facilities are required to submit a Monthly Report.

  • As a holder of a Scientific Procedures Premises License issued by the Bureau of Animal Welfare we are obliged to keep monthly records of:
  • the number and species of specified animals on the first working day of each month
  • the number and species of specified animals sold or delivered to other scientific establishments
  • the number, species and date of specified animals destroyed without being used in scientific procedures

Please ensure the monthly report is sent to research.ethics@svhm.org.au

For further information, please contact Melanie Asquith, AEC Secretary on 03 9231 3872 or email research.ethics@svhm.org.au

Adverse Event Reporting

Adverse events are any events that have a negative impact on the wellbeing of an animal or group of animals, as evidenced by abnormal physiological or behavioural response.

Adverse events are unpredictable or unanticipated consequences of research activities.

Adverse events can include (but are not limited to):

  • Unexpected death of an animal or group of animals
  • Unexpected welfare deterioration, either during or post procedure, including diarrhoea, vomiting, respiratory issues, collapse, abdominal swelling, rapid weight loss or neurological symptoms.
  • Adverse effects in a larger group of animals than was expected

All adverse events are to be dealt with immediately by the responsible researchers, Animal Facility Manager and Veterinarian.

 

To report an adverse event please complete and submit the following form:

Adverse Event Report

This report summarises the event for the Animal Ethics Committee and the actions being taken.

For further information, please contact Melanie Asquith, AEC Secretary on 03 9231 3872 or email research.ethics@svhm.org.au

Clinical SOPs

Clinical Standard Operating Procedures

Clinical Standard Operating Procedures provide investigators, animal facility staff and other relevant people or committees with clear direction on current best practice for a range of techniques and procedures and ensure consistency in animal care and use for scientific purposes.

To create or revise a Clinical Standard Operating Procedure (cSOP) contact AEC Secretary research.ethics@svhm.org.au

These Clinical Standard Operating Procedures have been approved by the St Vincent's AEC.
The SOPs are locked documents that require passwords to access them.
If you do not have access please contact the AEC Secretary research.ethics@svhm.org.au


Administrative SOPs

Husbandry SOPs

Forms

Resource for Researchers

Resources

News

Training Manuals

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Contact Us

For more information visit the Research Governance Unit Contact page