Animal Welfare and Ethics

Activities involving animals must only be conducted in line with university policy, compliance with relevant legislation and after approval by the University’s Animal Ethics Committee (AEC). Such approvals are only issued if the potential benefits of the work are likely to outweigh the effects on the animals concerned.

The University upholds the principles of Reduction, Refinement and Replacement. Ethical use, appropriate care and respect for animals involved are central to the University’s policy and procedure framework.

We have recently changed some processes for reporting. To find out more click here.

JCU recognises the significant role animals play in the progression of human knowledge. JCU research projects use animals only when their use is justified and when no other alternatives are available.

If you have an enquiry, concern or complaint about any of the following, you may contact the Animal Welfare Officer directly for confidential advice, discuss the concern or lodge a complaint.

Concerns, complaints and feedback about the treatment of animals at JCU are taken seriously and will be thoroughly investigated with action taken if proven.

If you have an enquiry, concern or complaint about any of the following, you may contact the Animal Welfare Officer directly for confidential advice, discuss the concern or lodge a complaint.

  • An animal being held on the property of the University or an external property or field work site.
  • The activities or behaviour of a researcher, teacher or other staff member.
  • The activities of a person or group that may affect or interfere with animal welfare, health or the progress of a research or teaching project.

All concerns and complaints will be followed up promptly and confidentially, although at times, there might be a need to identify the complainant for procedural fairness.

The Animal Welfare Officer and AEC follow the University’s investigation and complaint procedures to ensure all parties are heard and the matter is dealt with effectively. Anonymous complaints will also be investigated, however, the ability to investigate thoroughly may be affected by not being able to clarify certain facts with the original complainant.

If you receive a complaint about your work with animals, please refer it to the JCU Connect Animal Welfare and Ethics team to ensure the complaint is dealt with and to prevent unnecessary escalation.

JCU's Animal Ethics Committee's primary role is to protect the welfare of animals used in research and teaching and ensure that their use is justified and scientifically worthwhile.

View the AEC Application Process.

Animal Ethics Committee Chair

Professor Lin Schwarzkopf
College of Marine & Environmental Sciences
James Cook University
Email: ethics@jcu.edu.au
Phone: (07) 4781 5467

Contact the JCU Connect Animal Welfare and Ethics team

Visit the JCU Connect Ethics team on level 3 in The Science Place (Townsville) or in the Sir Robert Norman Building E2, Room 102C (Cairns).

General enquiries: ethics@jcu.edu.au

Photo of Melissa Joyce

Melissa Joyce

Animal Ethics Officer

melissa.joyce1@jcu.edu.au