(Previously known as the Animal Use and Care Committee – AUCC)
Welcome to the website of the AEC, a subcommittee of the Committee for Research Ethics and Integrity of the University of Pretoria, which reports to its Senate Committee for Research. All the faculties of UP involved in research for which experimental animals are used are represented on the AEC, i.e. Veterinary Science, Health Sciences and Natural and Agricultural Sciences. In addition the UP Biomedical Research Centre (UPBRC), the Law Faculty and the National SPCA are represented, the latter as representative of the public and of animal welfare organizations. The mandate of the AEC is to ensure that the use of experimental animals is necessary, that the number of animals used is reduced to a minimum, that unnecessary suffering of the animals is excluded and their well-being ensured and that the National Code of welfare standards for each species is maintained. A secondary goal is to protect the university and its faculties as well as the researchers from possible legal action. In order to achieve these goals all projects involving experimental animals have to be submitted to and approved by the AEC before it may proceed. Similarly, the use of animals for teaching purposes is also screened and approved on an annual basis.
Following legal advice, the Senate Committee for Research Ethics decided that all studies involving animals, even purely observational studies on wild animals, for example, must be approved by the AEC. We therefore included the collection of nasal and pharyngeal swabs in our latest version of the questionnaire, for example. We also have to approve studies where blood or other samples are used which have been collected during previous studies. According to international guidelines, ethical approval is required for studies using specimens from a bio-bank or previously stored samples
Utilization of the UPBRC
In 2002 the University of Pretoria approved the establishment of its Biomedical Research Centre at the Onderstepoort Campus as a centralized facility for research involving experimental animals. The mandate of the Centre includes the following:
The provision of facilities for experimental animals that meet the highest international standards.
The training of specialized professional and technical staff who can assist and supervise researchers in carrying out approved research projects involving experimental animals.
Assuring that all ethical and legal requirements for the care and use of experimental animals, as set out in the National Standard, are met, thus protecting both the researcher and the University against possible legal actions.
The improvement of the general standard of animal experimentation and ensuring that animal use is justified.
Utilization of the UPBRC facilities
Establishment of the UPBRC was preceded by extensive negotiations between the faculties involved. Agreement was reached that in order to meet the above requirements, and to justify the considerable investment by the university, it was essential that its facilities should be used whenever possible.
Consequently the Grové Animal Centre at the Faculty of Health Sciences and various other small animal housing units were closed down and all experimental procedures which involves animals and which will benefit man or other animals must be done at the UPBRC. However, the following exceptions to this rule were agreed upon:
Where animals are used for teaching purposes they may be housed at the relevant department, provided that adequate housing and qualified staff are available and have been approved by the AEC.
When animals are studied for their own benefit, as in the case of the Zoology Department, it can be done at their own specialized facilities after inspection and approval by the AEC. The same applies to studies on farm animals at the ‘proefplaas’ and on wildlife by the Mammal Research Institute.
When facilities outside the University are used, they need to be approved by the AEC and/or the NSPCA and in some cases by DAFF.
Official launch of the National Biodiversity and Business Network - 21/05/2013
The National Biodiversity and Business Network of South Africa was officially launched at the Gordon Institute of Business Sciences (GIBS) in Sandton on 15 May 2013.
The University of Pretoria was represented by Dr Claudious Chikozho and Ms Anesu Makina, both from Albert Luthuli Centre for Responsible Leadership (ALCRL), as well as Prof Don Cowan from FABI.
Open Day was a success! - 21/05/2013
I am pleased to inform you that I received many messages conveying positive feedback on the UP Open Day 2013. I was especially pleased about comments that the UP team of staff, students and volunteers was especially helpful and friendly.
My heartfelt appreciation to all who contributed to a positive experience for parents, prospective students, families, school principals and teachers. I encourage you to keep up the good work. Open Day is an important event for the University for attracting good students, and for broadly enhancing the reputation and status of the University.
World Kangaroo Mother Care Day celebrated by final year students - 21/05/2013
Staff and students from the Department of Communication Pathology at the University of Pretoria are involved in one of the most important evidence-based interventions for preterm and low birth weight babies in the world.
The final year students are participating in Kalafong Hospital as audiologists and speech-language therapists in this very effective neonatal method to care for preterm and low birth weight babies.
TuksGolf Training Centre officially opened at the University of Pretoria - 17/05/2013
The University of Pretoria prides itself on its publicly recognised achievements pertaining to its various sporting fraternities. These achievements can be attributed to the University’s sporting facilities, which are of the highest quality among South African universities. To add to its quality achievements, the University of Pretoria, through TuksSport and the High Performance Centre (hpc), has now officially opened a golf training centre.