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15 July 2002
A survey undertaken last year by the National Animal Ethics Committee (NAEAC)
to determine the effectiveness of the animal ethics system received an excellent
Committee chairperson, Mrs Wyn Hoadley said the survey was extremely useful
in identifying the training needs and requirements of the animal ethics
committees (AECs) established to oversee any research, testing or teaching
Mrs Hoadley in the 2001 NAEAC Annual Report released today said an essential
function of the committee is to ensure that AECs are fully supported in their
"Over the last five years NAEAC has devoted considerable effort to
promoting the aims of the animal ethics system and the role of NAEAC. The AECs
are an integral part of this system and it is important that the public and
scientific community are confident they are fulfilling their role," she
A series of well-attended workshops was also held in May 2002 to help AECs to
meet their obligations under the Animal Welfare Act 1999.
Over the year, NAEAC issued two sets of guidelines to advise AECs on
statutory monitoring requirements and the criteria required under the Animal
Welfare Act 1999 when approving an animal ethics committee protocol application
for a research, testing or teaching project.
Mrs Hoadley said another important achievement from the year was the
nation-wide consultation NAEAC undertook with AECs on the collection of animal
use statistics and the importance of retaining records.
From this consultation, the committee developed a set of recommendations that
reflect what NAEAC believes to be in the best interests of animal welfare,
public expectations of meaningful statistics and animal ethics committee system
All research, testing, and teaching involving live animals in New Zealand
must be carried out in accordance with the requirements of the Animal Welfare
The Act requires that all such animal use must be conducted in accordance
with an approved code of ethical conduct and be justified in terms of benefit to
society and approved by institutional animal ethics committees.
A total of approximately 50 such committees exist in research institutions,
universities, schools and private companies throughout the country.
These committees must include at least four members, three of which must be
nominated by external agencies including a senior member of the organisation
holding a code of ethical conduct, a representative from the New Zealand
Veterinary Association, a representative from the Royal New Zealand SPCA (or
similar welfare organisation), and a person nominated by a territorial authority
or regional council.
NAEAC is an independent ministerial advisory committee established to advise
the Minister of Agriculture on issues relating to the use of animals in
research, testing or teaching.
For further information contact:
Wyn Hoadley Ph: 09 449 2371 Fax: 09 449
For copies of the report contact:
Kate Hellström Ph: 04 4744 296 Fax: 04