What is a 'University Veterinarian and Animal Welfare Officer' and what do they do?

The University Veterinarian is part of the Division of the Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Vice-President (Research & Innovation) and is responsible for the care and health of research and teaching animals across all University campuses.

The University Veterinarian also does the following:

  • provides veterinary and specialist veterinary pathology support for all research and teaching animals
  • oversees all aspects of animal welfare at the University
  • assists in the refinement of techniques and the development of new research and teaching activities, with freely available consultation on methodology and animal care
  • reviews all animal ethics applications and provides advice to maximise animal welfare, including, where possible, alternate approaches that do not require animal use
  • provides assistance in preparing for and writing an animal ethics application and will review applications to help identify issues with methodology or suggest potential improvements to the application
  • provides freely available assistance to problem solve or troubleshoot any animal based issues that arise during a research or teaching activity, including problems with methodology or unexpected outcomes
  • provides freely available assistance with performing research or teaching activities
  • ensures that procedures approved by the Animal Ethics Committee are carried out as approved
  • provides confidential advice and assistance with any animal welfare concerns
  • investigates any adverse event, including performing or interpreting post-mortem examination as necessary
  • provides training or ensures access to training for all animal users in animal care, ethics and welfare, teaching and experimental methods
  • encourages awareness of the PREPARE (planning animal research) and ARRIVE (reporting animal research) guidelines by all researchers, including always seeking new and more effective ways to implement the 3R’s (replace, reduce, refine).

The University Veterinarian works closely with, but is independent of, Laboratory Animal Services. They provide support and veterinary assistance to all animal users in the University, including wildlife, companion animal, laboratory animal and production animal researchers and educators. The University Veterinarians are available to anyone within the University requiring assistance, without cost.

Please don’t hesitate to contact us, we don’t bite, scratch, kick, spit, hiss or screech!