Photo-recording and Audio-recording of Live Vertebrate Animals


Investigators may not photograph, film, videotape, or record experimental animals (live or dead) without prior express approval from the IACUC. In situations where these materials are to be shown outside of the scientific community, the BUMC Department of Corporate Communications (DCC) must also grant approval.


Institutional Use Only
IACUC approval is required if the recording of an animal is part of the experimental design (e.g., videotaping and later scoring of animal behaviors) and the recordings are intended for viewing by BU personnel only. The purpose and nature of the recording procedure must be described in the relevant animal use protocol. Prior permission from DCC is not required.

Scientific Presentations and Publications
If the recording is intended for later publication or exhibition (e.g., creation of videotapes or slides that will be shown to scientific peers at a national meeting; taking of photographs for publication in scientific journals), IACUC approval of the recording is required. In addition, approval from the DCC is required prior to publication of any recorded material that is likely to be viewed by the lay public (e.g., the cover story in Science or Nature).

Public/Commercial Presentations and Publications
If a recording of an animal is intended for publication or exhibition to a wide audience (e.g., a photograph published in a textbook; a tape shown to classes outside of BU) or for sale (e.g., an instructional tape sold to surgeons), prior IACUC approval of the recording is required as described above. Approval from the DCC must also be obtained prior to publication.

Media Events
Permission must be obtained from both the IACUC and the DCC prior to permitting a recording of an animal intended for a lay audience or by a member of the media (e.g., journalists from television, newspaper, or radio; documentary film directors). Permission must be secured prior to releasing a previously made animal recording to the media. All requests for media interviews should be handled through the DCC. The IACUC chair should be contacted directly to obtain permission to use live animals or their images in a media interview. Under no circumstances may a member of the media be brought into an animal facility or animal use site (including lab space if there is an animal in the lab) without the express permission of the IACUC and the Laboratory Animal Science Center. Animals are not to be used as props during an interview.

BU IACUC Approved February 2002, Reviewed January 2014