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Statement on use of animals in research and teaching

Statement by Royal Society Te Apārangi on the use of animals in research and teaching.

In accordance with the Society’s Code of Professional Standards and Ethics in Science, Technology and the Humanities, it believes that research should meet regulatory and legal obligations in relation to the Animal Welfare Act 1999, and that the three Rs (Replacement, Reduction and Refinement) should be considered at all stages of activities involving animals, to minimise the impacts on animals used in those activities, and in so doing, support the welfare and wellbeing of those animals. In support of this[1], the responsibilities of its members are outlined. 

Funding research that uses animals

The Society requires that the research it funds itself must comply with the Animal Welfare Act 1999 and endorses the principle of the 3Rs (replace, refine and reduce). Find out more about New Zealand regulation on animal welfare on the Ministry for Primary Industries website.

Researchers in receipt of Society funding report on their work, including their use of animals, must have had their research approved by their institution’s Animal Ethics Committee.

Royal Society Te Apārangi takes an active role in the use of animals in research through hosting the New Zealand Committee of ANZCCART (The Australian and New Zealand Council for the Care of Animals in Research and Teaching). ANZCCART is an independent body which was established to provide a focus for consideration of the scientific, ethical and social issues associated with the use of animals in research and teaching. In New Zealand, ANZCCART comprises representatives from the research, animal welfare and education communities, and is a standing committee of the Royal Society Te Apārangi. Through ANZCCART, researchers are encouraged to use the PREPARE guidelines for planning animal experiments, and the ARRIVE guidelines for improving the reproducibility and reporting of research involving animals.

The Society is a signatory to the Openness Agreement on Animal Research and Teaching in New Zealand and is working to fulfil the commitments of the Agreement as they apply to the Society.

Publishing policy for Royal Society Te Apārangi journals

The journals endorse the use of the ARRIVE (Animal Research: Reporting In Vivo Experiments) guidelines, which has been developed to improve the design, analysis and reporting of research using animals. To this end research must be undertaken in accordance with the institutional and legal requirements and/or follow published guidelines such as the New Zealand code of recommendations and minimum standards for the care and use of animals for scientific purposes. Authors from countries other than New Zealand must follow all applicable laws and regulations of the country in which they conduct research.

For further information please contact anzccart@royalsociety.org.nz.



[1] Obtaining approval of the proposed protocol for using animals from an accredited committee that assesses proposals against widely accepted codes of good practice such as those established under the Animal Welfare Act 1999; or having a quality assurance of the protocol undertaken by a competent committee constituted for that purpose, and following the approved protocol, would normally meet the expectations set out in 7 other than those set out in 7 c.4 in relation to taonga species or fauna indigenous to Aotearoa New Zealand.