SAIAB Animal Ethics Policy


Ethical clearance of research has become a fundamental requirement for institutions dealing directly with the collection or use of animals for scientific research. Animal research undertaken at NRF-SAIAB is diverse, including research on invertebrates, fishes, amphibians and occasionally reptiles, and includes:

  • Collection of animals as museum specimens and for reference collections
  • Collection of animals for biodiversity census
  • Collection of animals for ecological studies including the subsequent examination of these animals whole or in part for biological analyses
  • Experimentation on animals under laboratory conditions.

NRF-SAIAB is committed to ethical conduct with regards to the treatment of animals and the environment, and conforms to The South African National Standard for the Care and Use of Animals for Scientific Purpose (SANS 10386:2008), stakeholder norms, as well as to international publishing requirements.

To unravel some of the complexities of these ethical considerations, especially with regard to field work in aquatic environments, in 2015 postdoctoral fellows at SAIAB led by Dr Rhett Bennett, teamed up with Principal Scientist, Professor Olaf Weyl, to author a paper entitled Ethical considerations for field surveys, published in the Journal Koedoe in December 2016.

Owing to the diversity of research techniques, study species and aquatic environments in which scientists at NRF-SAIAB work, all research involving live animals requires clearance by an internal Animal Ethics Committee (AEC).

SAIAB Animal Ethics Policy January 2016

To apply for animal ethics clearance and project approval:

Enquiries: Penny Haworth, Manager Communications and Governance