All Faculty of Health Sciences research staff, postdoctoral fellows and students who wish to use live animals and/or animal tissue for teaching, research or scientific experimentation must obtain ethical approval from the Faculty Animal Ethics Committee (AEC) prior to any use or involvement with animals.

The FHS AEC helps to ensure that the highest ethical and welfare standards are maintained whenever animals are involved in research in the Faculty. At a minimum, the use of animals in research, teaching and testing at should be guided by the principles of the 3R’s (Replacement, Refinement, Reduction) as outlined in the South African National Standard 10386:2021.


Application forms and templates

New Submissions
Amendments and Modifications
Continuing review (Annual Progress Reports) and Final Reports
Reporting incidents (adverse events, deviations and so on)


Guidelines and Policies

UCT Animal Research Ethics Policies

National Guidance on Animal Welfare and Research Ethics

Provides the minimum benchmark to ensure ethical and humane care of animals used for scientific and teaching activities, in line with the fundamental principles of Replace, Reduce and Refine animal use. AECs and researchers are expected to familiarise themselves with these guidelines, as appropriate

AECs and researchers that review and conduct health research using animals must adhere to the Department of Health (2015) guidelines/ NHREC requirements for animal research ethics.

International Guidance on Animal Welfare


Animal welfare training and resources

Training for Animal Care



Meeting and Submission dates

Dates for 2024
  • The submission and meeting dates for 2024 are as follows:
    FHS AEC Meeting & Submission Dates 2024
  • Protocols should be submitted as early as possible BEFORE the submission date. This is essential to facilitate assessment by the reviewers prior to the full committee meeting. Submissions received late will be held until the next scheduled meeting. Please only use the latest forms available here as they will always be the most current version. Older versions of the forms will not be accepted
  • Kindly note that the VSS (Veterinary Support Services) deadline date includes the timeline and time taken for any changes recommended by VSS and PI application revisions of protocols. Kindly ensure corrections are submitted timeously to VSS (at least 1 week prior to formal FHS AEC submission deadline via email to fhsanimalresearch@uct.ac.za)


Fee Structure

Email fhsanimalresearch@uct.ac.za for the latest fee structure

The fee structure is developed purely to cover costs associated with animal research ethics review administration. The decision of the Animal Ethics Committee whether to approve a protocol is NOT in any way linked to payment of the ethics fee. If you have questions, please contact the Animal Ethics Administrative staff for information regarding the fee schedule.



Animal Research Ethics FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions Related to Research Involving Animals

Which forms do I need to complete for animal research ethics approval?

Please refer to the Application forms and templates section of this webpage for all latest application forms.

For how long is AEC approval valid?

AEC approval is valid for 3 years, after which an application for renewal or extension has to be submitted for review and approval .

My grant is for five years but the AEC approval letter says that I can only get approval for three years. How do I get an extension?

Please send all questions to fhsanimalresearch@uct.ac.za.

Do I need an AEC approval to use dead animals or animal material?

Yes, you are not allowed to commence any research or teaching activities using dead animals or animal materiaL unless approval is obtained from the AEC.

Do I need an approved protocol before I can order or house animals in a facility on campus?

Yes, you are not permitted to order or house any animals for research or teaching activities before AEC approval is granted.

If I have questions about the AEC application form or other questions about the AEC process, who do I contact?

Please send all questions to fhsanimalresearch@uct.ac.za.

Do I need an AEC protocol for field studies or behavioral studies?

Yes, please submit application for review and approval before commencement of study.

Do I need an AEC protocol for teaching activities? 

Yes, no teaching or any animal activities can commence without AEC approval

When can I submit an amendment instead of a new protocol?

If you want to make any changes in the approved protocol before the expiry date.

How do I close a protocol?

Please complete and submit the final report form