Policy Directory

ETHICAL OBJECTION BY STUDENTS TO THE USE OF ANIMALS AND ANIMAL PRODUCTS IN COURSEWORK SUBJECTS POLICY

Date approved:

12 March 2003

Date Policy will
take effect:

Spring
Session
2003

Date of Next
Review:

April
2014

Approved by:

Academic Senate

Custodian title & e-mail
address:

Manager, Research Ethics
eves@uow.edu.au

Author:

University Ethics Policy Committee

Responsible Faculty/
Division & Unit:

Research Services Office, Research and Innovation Division

Supporting documents,
procedures & forms of
this policy:

 

References &
Legislation:

Australian Code of Practice for the Care and Use of Animals for Scientific Purposes (NHMRC, 2004)
Animal Research Act 1985 (NSW)

Audience:

Public – accessible to anyone

Expiry Date of Policy:

Not applicable

Contents

1 Purpose of Policy 2

2 Application & Scope - Exclusions or Special Conditions (if any) 2

3 Policy Principles 2

4 Roles & Responsibilities 2

5 Version Control and Change History 3

    1 Purpose of Policy

    • 1. The University of Wollongong is committed to recognition of the diversity of values held by students at the University and seeks to provide avenues, if possible, for students to complete their chosen field of study without compromising their ethical commitments. The University, through its Animal Ethics Committee, has a responsibility to review any proposed research and teaching involving living animals in accordance with the NHMRC Australian Code of Practice for the Care and Use of Animals for Scientific Purposes (2004) and the Animal Research Act, 1985 (NSW).
    • 2. This policy provides a framework for recognition of and responses to students' ethical or religious objection to animal use in coursework subjects at the University of Wollongong. It should be noted that in some subjects and courses animal use is unavoidable and students need to carefully consider their career and study choices. For the purpose of this policy, animal use includes killing of animals in experimental work, dissection of animals that are already dead, use of animal tissues, use of animal-derived products (such as sera). These uses are relevant to teaching and assessment.

    2 Application & Scope - Exclusions or Special Conditions (if any)

    • 1. This policy does not cover research-only activity.
    • 2. There are subjects and courses in which the use of animals, animal tissues or animal-derived products (such as sera) is inherent and unavoidable, in order to achieve specific learning objectives. These subjects and courses will be identified in the University’s Undergraduate Calendar. Students with conscientious objections to that use should carefully consider their options, before enrolling.

    3 Policy Principles

    • 1. The University of Wollongong recognises that some students have conscientiously held ethical, religious or cultural values that entail avoidance of teaching or assessment activities involving animals, animal tissues or animal products.
    • 2. The University will make reasonable efforts to accommodate those students referred to in clause 4.1. However in some circumstances such accommodation will not be possible.

    4 Roles & Responsibilities

Responsibilities of Academic Units

    • 1. Academic Units in which teaching involving animals, animal tissues or animal products occurs will advise students in writing in the Subject Outline (and in any information provided electronically) of animal usage and the source of animals, animal tissue or animal products in relevant student information and course and subject materials. This information will be made available to students by the end of the first week of formal contact for each subject. Where meeting minimum course requirements will involve the use of animals, animal tissues or animal products the course guide should state this.
    • 2. Academic units will advise students in writing in the Subject Outline (and in any information provided electronically) of their rights to conscientiously object to teaching and assessment activities involving the use of animals, animal tissues or animal products, and the availability of alternatives, where possible. This advice will be included in student information and subject materials for all such subjects by the end of the first week of formal contact for each subject.
    • 3. Academic staff involved in teaching of students in relevant academic units may inquire into the basis for a student's objection and its scope, but should not interrogate the student in a manner that is disrespectful of the student's commitments.
    • 4. Where alternatives to teaching or assessment activity are provided by an academic unit, they should have similar pedagogic goals, be of comparable difficulty, and should require similar amount of time and effort, and be assessed as rigorously as the activity which they replace.

Responsibilities of Students

    • 5. Students who seek to avoid a particular learning activity on the basis of conscientious objection should notify the subject coordinator in writing as early as possible, not later than the end of Week 2 of the session.
    • 1. Individual cases will be referred to the Associate Dean Academic for consideration.

    5 Version Control and Change History

Version Control

Date Effective

Approved By

Amendment

1

12 March 2003

Academic Senate

New Policy

2

6 May 2009

Vice-Principal (Administration)

Migrated to UOW Policy Template as per Policy Directory Refresh

3

9 March 2010

Vice-Principal (Administration)

Future review date identified in accordance with Standard on UOW Policy

4

13 April 2011

Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research)

Minor amendment following scheduled review: deletion of Appendix A and references to Appendix A within policy.

5

22 June 2012

University Council

Policy review.

New provisions provide that in some courses and subjects it may not be possible to provide an alternative to students where the use of animals and animal products are necessary for the study of a subject or course. New less prescriptive provisions now included in policy.

Here to Help

Need a hand? Contact the Governance Unit for advice and assistance on policy issues.