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Ethics reference documents

Openness on animal research

The Health Research Council of New Zealand (HRC) supports and funds the use of animals in research when properly regulated, ethically approved, and when no alternatives are available. We also actively support progress towards a reduction in the use of animals by refining experiments and developing new ways to minimise the use of animals wherever possible – often referred to as the 3Rs.

Many HRC-funded host research institutions are a signatory to the Openness Agreement on Animal Research and Teaching in New Zealand. A core principle of the agreement is that funded institutions are transparent about their research if it involves animals. As a government funding agency and crown agent, HRC funding helps make advances in translational research (from biomedical and animal studies to clinical sciences) that benefits patients and has international impact, which are in line with the New Zealand Health Research Strategy and New Zealand Health Research Prioritisation Framework.

All HRC-funded animal research must have approval from the local animal ethics committee, and the specific details relating to that approval held locally. No animal research takes place on site at the HRC. Thus, for detailed information, all queries should be directed to the host institutions and their local animal ethics committees.