2023-2024 Policy Library 
    Jul 16, 2024  
2023-2024 Policy Library

Use of Animals Guidelines

Keck Science Department
W.M. Keck Science Center
The Claremont Colleges


The use of animals in research is subject to Federal and State statutory controls and ethical considerations. If you are planning on using any animals in your research (excluding invertebrates), you must complete the appropriate attached forms, submit them to the KS Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) by the date specified, and receive approval from the IACUC before beginning your research. There will be no exceptions to this requirement.

The Keck Science Department follows the guidelines for the use of animals in research and research training established by the Public Health Services (PHS) policy.  This policy reflects recommendations from 1) the Guide for the Care and Use of Laboraory Animals, 2) the American Veterinary Medical Assciation Guidelines for the Euthanasia of Animals, and 3) the Office of Animal Laboratory Welfare (OLAW) through the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

Proposals to use animals in research must include a clear statement of the purpose of the research and an appropriate experimental design and must demonstrate a familiarity with the relevant scientific literature.

Painful Procedures

Special rules apply to painful procedures, which by law means any procedure that would reasonably be expected to produce more than slight or momentary pain or distress in a human being. These include, but are not limited to, terminal surgery, some hypodermic injections, ocular or skin irritancy studies, food and/or water deprivation, electrical shock, paralysis or immobility in a conscious animal, and exhaustion studies. 

Any study involving a painful procedure must be accompanied by a written “Narrative for Alternatives to Painful Procedures.” At a minimum, this must include the results of a database search for alternatives, together with a list of databases consulted, the date of the search, the years covered by the search, and the keywords used in the search. The proposal must also address “reduction, replacement, and refinement” of animal use. Reduction is defined as a lower number of animals used to obtain necessary data through sharing or animals, better experimental design, or changed practices. Replacement is defined as an alternative to animal use, e.g. replacing use with some method that does not require whole animals. Refinement is defined as an alternative to earlier examples of animal use by better use and/or modification of existing procedures to minimize pain and distress.


Multiple surgeries are not permitted in KS Senior Thesis research projects.


Specific details of euthanasia must be given. If lethal drug administration is used, details of dose must be provided, together with the particulars of the person licensed to store and administer the drug.

Sample Size

The number of animals proposed to be used must be appropriate. Proposals that involve too few animals to have a reasonable expectation of generating statistically significant results will be rejected. Note that laboratory animals can be expensive. Proposals that involve numbers of animals that are financially impractical will also be rejected.

There are precise legal definitions of what constitutes an animal and of the different categories of animals. Read the following carefully.

Laboratory Mammals

In the context of KS Senior Theses, these are rats and mice. Use of other species (e.g. rabbits, guinea pigs, primates, etc.) is not permitted under our federal animal use permit.

Other Mammals

Other mammals (not included above) are considered wild species (even if captive bred). Laboratory maintenance of these species requires a California Fish and Game (CFG) Prohibited Species Permit (http://www.dfg.ca.gov). These can be expensive and may require many months to acquire. Senior Theses involving these permits will be considered only under exceptional circumstances and the application must be initiated no later than February of the students’ junior year.

Field studies of mammals in CA, involving anything other than passive observation, require a CFG Scientific Collectors Permit. Applications should be filed at the end of the students’ junior year. Field studies in other states or countries will require comparable permits.


Studies on native species require both Federal and State permits for field and/or laboratory study. Laboratory studies on non-native species acquired from pet stores (e.g. zebra finch) require KS IACUC review and approval.

Reptiles and Amphibians

Non-endangered reptiles and amphibians do not require Federal or State permits for maintenance if legally acquired from a dealer (e.g. iguanas purchased in a pet store). Field studies or collection of native species require a Scientific Collectors Permit. Contact the chair of the IACUC for specific details.


Research on native marine or freshwater fish will require a CFG Scientific Collectors permit. Laboratory studies on non-native species acquired from pet stores require KS IACUC review and approval.


The KS IACUC does not concern itself with research proposals involving the use of invertebrates. It is up to the student, working closely with his/her advisor, to ensure that appropriate collecting permits (if necessary) are obtained, the care provided meets basic humane standards, and if the experiments proposed involve painful procedures, that alternatives are considered and steps are taken to reduce or eliminate pain to the organism.


The following forms must be typed and the necessary signatures obtained before this application will be considered by the KS IACUC.

Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC)