Dr Malcolm France

Sentient Veterinary Member, An independent consultant in laboratory animals care and management



Malcolm France is an independent consultant in laboratory animal care and management. He graduated from the University of Sydney in 1983 and after 3 years in private practice, undertook a residency in pathology at the Royal Veterinary College, London.


Returning to the Sydney vet school as a lecturer in pathology, he developed an interest in the diagnostic histopathology of laboratory rodents. This led him to undertake a sabbatical at the Jackson Laboratory in Maine during which he also attended the Pathology of Laboratory Animals course in Bethesda and spent a week at the Department of Comparative Medicine at Yale.


He has published or co-authored over 30 papers in peer-reviewed journals, of which half are on the pathology of laboratory rodents and include novel observations of naturally occurring diseases. He was awarded a PhD in 1996 and membership of the Australian and New Zealand College of Veterinary Scientists in pathology in 1998.


From 2000 to 2012, he was Director of Laboratory Animal Services at the University of Sydney and from 2006 to 2010 was inaugural president of the industry body representing veterinarians, animal technicians and others whose vocation is dedicated to providing care for animals used in research. 


Malcolm admits to being drawn rather unexpectedly into discussions on animal rights when he began attending a post-graduate philosophical reading group several years ago. This has grown to become a major interest with a particular focus on the ethical debate over the use of animals in research.


In 2003, he established an induction course for researchers at the University of Sydney which focused on the ethical aspects of animal research. This grew to attract approximately 250 delegates per year from four universities plus affiliated research institutions and sought to promote cross-disciplinary dialogue through the inclusion of presentations by animal rights advocates on the program.


In 2011, he established the first award by an Australian research institution to recognize work with the potential to reduce or replace the use of animals in research and in 2013 had an article on the history of the animal research debate accepted for publication in ‘Living Ethics’, the newsletter of the St James Ethics Centre.


By drawing on his first-hand experience in animal research, laboratory animal care and membership of animal ethics committees, Malcolm strives to promote more constructive dialogue through seeking common ground between parties in the animal research debate and sees Sentient as being well-placed to help foster a more informed discussion than hasn’t often been the case in the past.