The University recognises the significant role played by animals in the progression of human knowledge. The University’s research and teaching activities involving animals are critical to the mission of the James Cook University. In this respect the University uses animals only when their use is justified and when no alternatives are available.
Activities involving animals must only be conducted in 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 (the 3R’s). Ethical use, appropriate care and respect for animals involved are central to the University’s policy and procedure framework.
The University commits to:
At JCU we place a high priority on animal welfare and require that all animals are treated with a high degree of respect at all times. As such, any complaints about animal treatment or care are taken extremely seriously and will be thoroughly investigated with action taken if they are proven.
If you have an enquiry, concern or complaint about:
You may contact the Animal Welfare Officer directly for confidential advice, to discuss a concern or to lodge a complaint. All concerns and complaints will be followed up promptly and confidentially, although there may be a time, for procedural fairness that it becomes necessary to reveal the identity of the complainant. The Animal Welfare Officer and AEC follow written investigation and complaint procedures to ensure that all parties are heard and the matter is dealt with expediently and confidentially. Anonymous complaints will also be investigated, however, the ability investigate thoroughly may be affected by not being able to clarify certain facts with the original complainant so we prefer that people at least provide a name and contact point for this purpose.
If you receive a complaint about your work with animals, please refer this to the Animal Welfare Officer or Animal Ethics Officer to ensure the complaint is dealt with appropriately and to prevent any unnecessary escalation.
Students or staff at JCU may abstain from participating in animal practicals or classes involving animals. If you would like to abstain from a particular animal work, you should first speak with the co-ordinator of the class. If you are not happy with the response, you may contact the Animal Welfare Officer to discuss the matter.