Advisory Committee Annual Report Released
Eleven reviews of organisations involved in the use of animals for research, testing or teaching were completed during
These figures were announced in the 2003 Annual Report of the National Animal Ethics Advisory Committee (NAEAC) released
Chairperson, Wyn Hoadley, said the reviews provided assurances that all research, testing, or teaching using animals
adhered to principles outlined under the Animal Welfare Act 1999.
“All the reviewed organisations showed a high commitment to the welfare of the animals in their care, and their codes of
ethical conduct required for ongoing work involving animals were renewed,” she said.
A key function of NAEAC is to provide independent advice to the Minister of Agriculture on ethical and animal welfare
issues arising from the use of animals in research, testing and teaching.
During 2003, the committee recommended an amendment to the Animal Welfare Act which essentially sought to refine what
constitutes a ‘manipulation’ under the Act.
Generally, ‘manipulation’ means the interference to an animal’s normal physiological, behavioural or anatomical
integrity by subjecting it to an unusual or abnormal procedure different to normal management or practice. This could
involve exposing the animal to any parasite, micro-organism, drug, chemical, biological product or environmental
condition, or enforced activity, restraint, nutrition, or surgical intervention, or depriving the animal of usual care.
The committee recommended that the humane killing of animals involved in research, testing and teaching should be
defined as a manipulation and be included in statistical information.
“Currently there is no distinction between the humane killing of research animals from the killing of animals for food
or because they are unwanted. NAEAC is of the view that these figures should require ethical approval and be included in
statistics, to do otherwise could be regarded as misleading,” she said.
In response to this recommendation MAF will undertake a detailed policy analysis of the proposal.
NAEAC also launched the Three Rs Award – reduction, refinement and replacement – to recognise excellence in the humane
use of animal in research, testing and teaching.
In 2003 the award was funded by contributions made by the Australian and New Zealand Council for the Care of Animals in
Research and Teaching, the New Zealand Veterinary Association and the Animal Welfare Science and Bioethics Centre.
Associate Professor Alex Davies of the Institute of Veterinary, Animal and Biomedical Sciences at Massey University was
awarded the prize in 2003.
For hard copies of the report contact the Animal Welfare Group on 04 474 4129