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
- Use this form for requesting ethical approval for research or teaching involving the use of live vertebrate animals Animal Research Ethics Committee - AEC Application form (FHS003)
- Use this form for requesting ethical approval for using animal material only: Use of Animal Material (FHS029)
- Use this form (external researchers) to apply for reciprocal acknowledgement from FHS AEC Reciprocal acknowledgement (FHS030)
Amendments and Modifications
- Use this form when amending a currently approved protocol
Continuing review (Annual Progress Reports) and Final Reports
Reporting incidents (adverse events, deviations and so on)
- Use this form to report any adverse event or unanticipated problem affecting animal welfare, any animal deaths and euthanasia due to animals found sick or in distress, protocol deviations or violations Protocol Violations, Deviations, Unanticipated Problems and Adverse Events Form (FHS031)
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
- US Office of Laboratory Animal Welfare
- US Public Health Service Policy on Humane Care and Use of Laboratory Animals
- Australian Code for the Care and Use of Animials for Scientific Purposes (8th Edition 2013)
- EUs Directive 2010/63/EU on the protection of animals used for scientific purposes
- Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals (8th Edition)
- Guide for the Care and Use of Agricultural Animals in Research and Teaching
- NC3Rs ARRIVE Guidelines - The ARRIVE guidelines (Animal Research: Reporting of In Vivo Experiments) are a checklist of information to include in publications describing animal research
- Scientists Center for Animal Welfare
- Database on Refinement of Housing and Handling Conditions and Environmental Enrichment for Laboratory Animals (Rodents, Rabbits, Cats, Dogs, Ferrets, Farm Animals, Horses, Birds, Fishes, Amphibians, and Reptiles.
Animal welfare training and resources
Training for Animal Care
All faculty, staff, and students involved with the use of vertebrate animals in research and teaching purposes are required to complete the Introductory Course in Laboratory Animal Science the ethics, care and use of animals for scientific purposes before protocols are submitted for AEC approval. Please contact UCT Research Animal Facility and Veterinary Scientific Services for more information on the course .
Meeting and Submission dates
Dates for 2023
- The submission and meeting dates for 2023 are as follows:
- 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 email@example.com)
Email firstname.lastname@example.org 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 email@example.com.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 .