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Animal Ethics Committee (AEC)

ANIMAL ETHICS COMMITTEE (AEC)

(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:

  1. The provision of facilities for experimental animals that meet the highest international standards.
  2. The training of specialized professional and technical staff who can assist and supervise researchers in carrying out approved research projects involving experimental animals.
  3. 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.
  4. 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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.

 

News

Unifying pathology and laboratory medicine in the era of P4 medicine - 30/09/2014
The 54th International Congress of the Federation of South African Societies of Pathology, which was proudly co-hosted by the University of Pretoriaís Department of Pathology in the Faculty of Health Sciences, recently took place at the purpose-built CSIR International Convention Centre. The organising committee was mindful of the prestige of the conference and put together a superb programme for this forum and gathering of pathologists and scientists in laboratory medicine from both the public and the private sector.
[Read More]
 
Distinguished academic chosen to be part of leading team - 29/09/2014
Prof RiŽl Franzsen has been appointed as member of the Governing Board (Executive Board) of the recently-established Institute for Fiscal Studies in Ghana.
[Read More]
 
Mail and Guardian chooses UP scientists as the voices of science - 29/09/2014
The newspaper Mail & Guardian (M&G) is running a six-month project called Science Voices, which aims to help postgraduate science students to present their academic writing in a language that is understandable and enjoyable for the general public to read. Postgraduate students submitted their articles to M&G and top articles were selected and published. Two PhD candidates and one MSc candidate from UPís Institutional Research Theme (IRT) on Food, Nutrition and Well-being were selected for this prestigious profile supplement published by M&G.
[Read More]
 
Mammal Research Institute Annual Southern Right Whale Survey - 29/09/2014
The Mammal Research Institute of the University of Pretoria will start flying their 36th annual helicopter survey of the Southern Capeís right whale population on 29 September this year; a survey that will be generously sponsored by four offshore oil and gas companies namely; ExxonMobil Exploration and Production South Africa Limited, Impact Africa Limited, The Petroleum Oil And Gas Corporation of South Africa (SOC) Ltd, and Thombo Petroleum Limited.
[Read More]
 
Kumba ploughing millions into UP virtual reality mine design centre - 25/09/2014
Anglo American subsidiary Kumba Iron Ore (Kumba) is sponsoring the development of Africaís first virtual reality (VR) mine design centre at the University of Pretoriaís (UPís) department of mining and engineering.
[Read More]
 
Expert economist returns home as Director - 23/09/2014
Prof Margaret Chitiga-Mabugu has been appointed as Director and Head of the School of Public Management and Administration (SPMA) with effect from 1 September 2014.
[Read More]
 
Castle Lager, Mark Boucher and the Veterinary Genetics Lab put rhinos in safe hands - 19/09/2014
Cricket icon Mark Boucher is not only a champion sportsman, but also someone who is committed to playing his part to protect rhinos from extinction. After retiring from cricket, he partnered with Castle Lager to set up the Castle Lager Boucher Legacy Ė Rhino in Safe Hands. Boucher chose to specifically support UPís Veterinary Genetics Laboratory (VGL) and aims to raise enough money to register all South Africaís rhinos onto the DNA database of the VGL, known as RhODIS.
[Read More]