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Code of practice for the care and use of research animals



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JOINT MEDIA RELEASE J 70/85

CODE OF PRACTICE FOR THE CARE AND USE OF RESEARCH ANIMALS

The Federal Government today issued a new Code of Practice for the care and use of animals for experimental purposes.

In a joint announcement, the Minister for Health, Dr. Neal Blewett, the Acting Minister for Science, Mr Michael Duffy, and the Minister for Primary Industry, Mr John Kerin, said the new code had been developed by the National Health and Medical Research Council, with assistance from the CSIRO and

the Australian Agricultural Council.

The Ministers said the updated guidelines contained in the code aimed at emphasising the ethical ‘ responsibilities of investigators and institutions — from schools to teaching hospitals — using animals in experiments, and at ensuring

their considerate treatment.

The guidelines were based on the principle that animals be treated with respect and care, and that consideration of their welfare was an essential factor in determining their use in experiments.

The Ministers said the Code of Practice stated that animal experimentation should be performed only to obtain and establish significant scientific information relevant to the understanding of man and animals, to animal production, to

the continued maintenance and improvement of the health and well-being of man and animals, or to achieve educational objectives where the use of animals was unavoidable.

They said the Code aimed to promote the development and use of techniques which would replace or complement animal experiments and so reduce the numbers of animals used. .

Dr. Blewett said the National Health and Medical Research Council had maintained a Code of Practice for animal experimentation for two decades and had updated it periodically.

CANBERRA. ยท

16 April, 1985.

Media inquiries: Mr Andrew Charlton, 898949.