Monitoring measures are undertaken to assess, or to ensure the assessment of, the wellbeing of animals in accordance with the Code.

Monitoring occurs at different levels including  investigator monitoring, monitoring by Animal Ethics Committees or by the UQR&I Consultant Veterinary Officer (or delegate), and/or monitoring by regulatory bodies.  

Score Sheets

Score sheets are an appropriate way to monitor pain and distress in animals. Projects using invasive techniques on animals require score sheets that are approved by the CVO and the AEC. A score sheet allows for a systematic assessment of the animals’ wellbeing and provides valuable information of the parameters that will be monitored, at what point intervention will take place and an end point at which an animal will be euthanased.

Below are sample scoresheets developed by UQR&I's Animal Ethics Unit. Tailor the sample score sheets to be suitable for the project and species. It is recommended that UQ staff and students obtain approval of scoresheets from the Consultant Veterinary Officer before submitting your ethics application to the AEC.

The Guideline to promote the wellbeing of animals used for scientific purposes describes the need to develop a monitoring strategy that incorporates the following:

  • the clinical signs or observations that will be used to assess an animal’s wellbeing or clinical condition as the project progresses
  • the clinical signs or combination of clinical signs that will indicate that intervention (including euthanasia) is necessary
  • the actions that will be taken if a problem is detected
  • the frequency of monitoring
  • the people who will conduct the monitoring, and their training
  • the system for the recording of observations

In addition, the document, Humane Endpoints for Laboratory Animals Used in Regulatory Testing by William S Stokes (1998) may assist in developing monitoring score sheets.

Under the Animal Care and Protection Act 2001 via the Code there is a requirement for all work involving animals to be monitored. There are several layers to the monitoring process.

  • Monitoring undertaken as an audit by DAF as the regulatory body
  • Monitoring of animal houses/holding facilities and laboratories in the form of inspections undertaken by the AEC
  • Monitoring of individual projects/activities undertaken by the Consultant Veterinary Officer on behalf of the AEC, and/or a designated delegate(s)

UQ has established three ‘zones’ to facilitate monitoring.

There are several layers to the University’s monitoring process.

  • Monitoring of animal houses/holding facilities and laboratories in the form of inspections undertaken by the AEC
  • Monitoring of individual projects/activities undertaken by the Consultant Veterinary Officer on behalf of the AEC, and/or a designated delegate(s)

In addition, monitoring may be undertaken as an audit by DAF as the regulatory body.

UQ has established three ‘zones’ to facilitate monitoring.

Zone 1 includes work being undertaken on UQ campuses and institutions and related institutions that are aligned with a UQ AEC.  Monitoring is by the AEC and/or the CVO as appropriate.

Zone 2 includes work being undertaken either by:

  • UQ staff and students in field locations not attached to a UQ campus, or
  • external organisations for which the UQ AECs are responsible . This encompasses an area that extends from the Gold Coast (south) to Gatton (west), Caboolture (north) and the Moreton Bay Research Station (east).

Individual teaching or research projects, animal holding areas and field trip work in this area is monitored under the direction of the AEC by the CVO and usually consists of a small monitoring team with at least one external AEC member.

Zone 3 includes work being undertaken by UQ staff and students at remote sites external to Zone 1 and 2 within Australia and overseas. Monitoring of these projects is undertaken in keeping with the relative impact on animal welfare, habitat and behaviour at the discretion of the AEC as follows: Projects/holding facilities/field work is deemed to be low or high risk.

Low risk
At the early stage of a project the research team provides monitoring information to the AEC in the form of:

  • a report
  • photographic imaging and/or
  • video imaging

Medium to high risk
The Chief Investigator of the project is asked to provide an External Monitoring Nomination to the relevant AEC for consideration. The nomination should be aware of the project aims and have experience / appropriate qualifications but not have a role on the project. Please contact the Animal Ethics Unit Coordinator for further details regarding nominations.