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Animal Ethics Committee

Student in front of Clocktower

Terms of Reference

To review all projects involving the use of animals for teaching, diagnostic development, or research purposes in the University of Otago and its associated District Health Boards to ensure that adequate consideration is given to the humane treatment of animals according to the principles outlined in the University's Code of Ethical Conduct for the Manipulation of Animals.


The University has an Animal Ethics Committee (AEC) on each of its three campuses (Christchurch, Dunedin & Wellington). Research proposals are closely scrutinised by the AEC before being given approval. The members of the AEC include academics representing the scientific disciplines using animals, as well as wider community representation as governed by the Animal Welfare Act and the University's Code of Ethical Conduct.


Research at the University of Otago complies with all legislation applicable to animal welfare. This includes, but is not restricted to:

  • The Animal Welfare Act 1991
  • The Agricultural Compounds & Veterinary Medicines Act 1997
  • The Hazardous Substances & New Organisms Act 1996

Animal use and welfare is strictly monitored by several national bodies including:


In addition, the University conducts an extensive training programme on the welfare of animals used in research, including modules on applicable legislation, handling and restraint techniques, drug administration and surgical procedures.

Please visit the website for further information (please note this link is only accessible from a University computer).