Research Policy Handbook


Use of Vertebrate Animals in Teaching Activities

Policy Authority

Senate of the Academic Council

Policy Contact

Now in Policy Details

Establishes policy and procedures for the use of live or deceased vertebrate animals for instructional purposes.

1. Instructional Use

It is the policy of Stanford University that the use of either live or deceased vertebrate animals for solely instructional purposes is permitted when:

  1. The cognizant instructor(s) judges that the educational goals of the program or course will be best achieved by such usage
  2. The Administrative Panel on Laboratory Animal Care determines that such usage is humane, proper, and appropriate, consistent with government principles and regulations for the utilization and care of vertebrate animals used in teaching and research. Only the minimum number of animals essential to instructional objectives should be used. Instructors should be encouraged to use alternatives to animals whenever possible

2. Information to Students

Academic departments and programs should alert prospective students if any courses which are required for a major or degree involve the use of animals. This requirement may be met by a statement to the effect that some required courses for certain degrees may involve use of animals tissue, and that interested students should seek further information about such requirements from the department. Normally this statement should appear in Courses and Degrees.

Instructors must inform their students during the first week of class if animals or animal tissue will or may be used as part of that course. Students who have concerns about the use of animals may then choose whether or not to take the class. Students should feel free to discuss their concerns with the instructor, but should be aware that instructors and departments are not obligated to alter course requirements which are consistent with University policies.

3. Procedures for Use of Animals

Any faculty member who intends to use vertebrate animals for teaching purposes must submit an Animal Use Protocol signed by the department chairperson to the Administrative Panel on Laboratory Animal Care. Reuse of previously approved preserved material requires no approval. Courses taught each year with no significant changes in animal usage must submit a Renewal Animal Use Protocol each year.

The protocol must include information about the source from which animals are procured. In addition, the protocol must explain why animals are needed to achieve the goals of the course, and justify the species and the number of animals to be used. If the Administrative Panel on Laboratory Animal Care questions the species of animal chosen, the procurement process, the number of animals to be used or other related matters, such questions need to be resolved before the animals may be ordered.

Live vertebrate animals must be cared for according to the Department of Comparative Medicine policies and procedures governing the use of laboratory animals. Disposal of animal tissue must be in compliance with relevant health and safety regulations.