28 May 2021
The University of Queensland has approached Wildlife Queensland seeking assistance in locating potential Category C members for their various Animal Ethics Committees.
An Animal Ethics Committee (AEC) comprises a balance of specialist members from the institution and general members from outside the institution.
- The general members have a focus on animal welfare issues (Category C) and community concerns (Category D).
- The specialist areas cover the disciplines of science (Category B) and veterinary science (Category A).
- There may be other members of the committee that may include animal house managers or additional representatives from the above-mentioned categories.
- There is an executive officer responsible for organising the meetings, taking the minutes, handling the submissions and correspondence, and clarifying issues without influencing your thinking on different matters.
For a quorum, at least one representative of each of the Cats A, B, C and D must be present.
There is also a one-third rule where Cat C and D members must be a third of those present for the meeting. Therefore, most institutions elect to have at least two representatives of each Category appointed.
About University of Queensland Animal Ethics Committees
The University of Queensland has five Animal Ethics Committees (AECs). Each Committee is dedicated to a specific type of research and/or teaching. The five Committees are:
- Anatomical Biosciences AEC (ABS)
- Production and Companion Animals AEC (PCA)
- Molecular Biosciences AEC (MBS)
- Health Sciences AEC (HS)
- Native/Exotic Wildlife and Marine Animals AEC (NEWMA)
AEC meetings are held during the day, once a month except for January. Meetings range in length up to four hours. However, you should note prereading normally takes longer. Parking can be arranged.
There is a sitting fee for community members ($200 per meeting) or if the member does not wish to accept the fee, then it can be donated to a charity of their choice.
Each external member receives an android tablet for use at committee meetings. They are also configured for personal use by the committee member. Community membership to UQ’s libraries is also offered.
Category C member prerequisites
- Preferably a Cat C member is a member of an organisation with animal welfare interests such as RSPCA, Wildlife Queensland, Birds Queensland, or any of the wildlife care focused organisations.
- A Cat C member is appointed in their own right and does not represent any organisation. This person brings an awareness of current community animal welfare concerns.
If it is difficult for you to accept that animals will be used in research and teaching activities, then an AEC is not the place for you. You must be prepared to sign a confidentiality document.
If you are a member of another institution’s AEC that does not necessarily exclude you. However, serving on several AECs within one institution is not usually accepted by the State Regulator.
Armed with a balanced perspective, an understanding of what AECs are about and some training, if required, you can be part of a system that affords protection and improves animal welfare issues for animals involved in experimentation.
The role of Wildlife Queensland is to forward, with the person’s consent, the contact details of anyone wishing to be considered for a position on one of the AECs to the university. It is then up to the university to consider your appointment and to which AEC you are assigned. That information is then forwarded to the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries (the State Regulator).
Please contact Des Boyland at firstname.lastname@example.org to advise of your interest or for more information.