Research involving animals and their data or biological material

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Research involving animals and their data or biological material

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The welfare of animals (vertebrate and higher invertebrate) used for research, education and testing must be respected. Authors should supply detailed information on the ethical treatment of their animals in their submission. For that purpose they may use the ARRIVE checklist which is designed to be used when submitting manuscripts describing animal research. We recommend that authors consult the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) Guidelines for the Euthanasia of Animals (2020), as a comprehensive resource for guidance on veterinary best practice for the anesthesia and euthanasia of animals. 

For studies involving client-owned animals, authors must also document informed consent from the client or owner and adherence to a high standard (best practice) of veterinary care.

Authors are recommended to comply with:

The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Policy Statement on Research Involving Species at Risk of Extinction and consult the IUCN red list index of threatened species Convention on the Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora


When reporting results authors should indicate:

… that the studies have been approved by a research ethics committee at the institution or practice at which the studies were conducted. Please provide the name of ethics committee and relevant permit number;… whether the legal requirements or guidelines in the country and/or state or province for the care and use of animals have been followed.


Researchers from countries without any legal requirements or guidelines voluntarily should refer to the following sites for guidance:

The Basel Declaration describes fundamental principles of using animals in biomedical research

The International Council for Laboratory Animal Science (ICLAS) provides ethical guidelines for researchers as well as editors and reviewers

The Association for the study of Animal Behaviour describes ethical guidelines for the treatment of animals in research and teaching

The International Association of Veterinary Editors’ Consensus Author Guidelines on Animal Ethics provide guidelines for authors on animal ethics and welfare


Researchers may wish to consult the most recent (ethical) guidelines available from relevant taxon-oriented professional societies.


If a study was granted exemption or did not require ethics approval, this should also be detailed in the manuscript.


Summary of requirements


The above should be summarized in a statement and included in a section entitled “Declarations” before the reference list. Other declarations include Funding, Conflicts of interest/competing interests, Ethics approval, Consent, Data and/or Code availability and Authors’ contribution statements.

Please see the various examples of wording below and revise/customize the sample statements according to your own needs.


Provide “Ethics approval” as a heading (see template)

Examples ethics approval obtained:

All procedures involving animals were in compliance with the European Community Council Directive of 24 November 1986, and ethical approval was granted by the Kocaeli University Ethics Committee (No. 29 12 2014, Kocaeli, Turkey).

All procedures performed in the study were in accordance with the ARVO Statement for Use of Animals in Ophthalmic Vision and Research. The ethical principles established by the National Institutes of Health Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals (NIH Publications No. 8523, revised 2011) were followed. The research protocol was approved by the Ethics Committee on Animal Use (Protocol No. 06174/14) of FCAV/Unesp, Jaboticabal.

This study involved a questionnaire-based survey of farmers as well as blood sampling from their animals. The study protocol was assessed and approved by Haramaya University, research and extension office. Participants provided their verbal informed consent for animal blood sampling as well as for the related survey questions. Collection of blood samples was carried out by veterinarians adhering to the regulations and guidelines on animal husbandry and welfare.

All brown bear captures and handling were approved by the Ethical Committee on Animal Experiments, Uppsala, Sweden (Application C18/15) and the Swedish Environmental Protection Agency in compliance with Swedish laws and regulations.

The ethics governing the use and conduct of experiments on animals were strictly observed, and the experimental protocol was approved by the University of Maiduguri Senate committee on Medical Research ethics. Proper permit and consent were obtained from the Maiduguri abattoir management, before the faecal samples of the cattle and camels slaughtered in this abattoir were used for this experiment.


Examples ethics approval not required:

No approval of research ethics committees was required to accomplish the goals of this study because experimental work was conducted with an unregulated invertebrate species.

As the trappings of small mammals were conducted as part of regular pest control measures in accordance with the NATO Standardized Agreement 2048 "Deployment Pest and Vector Surveillance and Control ", no approval by an ethics committee was required.

All experiments have been conducted as per the guidelines of the Institutional Animal Ethics Committee, Department of Zoology, Utkal University, Bhubaneswar, Odisha, India. However, the insect species used in this study is reared for commercial production of raw silk materials, as a part of agro-based industry. Therefore, use of this animal in research does not require ethical clearance. We have obtained permission from the office of Research officer sericulture, Baripada, Orissa, India for the provision of infrastructure and support for rearing of silkworm both in indoor and outdoor conditions related to our study to promote sericulture practices.


If any of the sections are not relevant to your manuscript, please include the heading and write 'Not applicable' for that section.


Authors are responsible for correctness of the statements provided in the manuscript. See also Authorship Principles. The Editor-in-Chief reserves the right to reject submissions that do not meet the guidelines described in this