Animal Care & Use

Helpful pointers for new PI/researchers- Animal work 101

Care and Use of Animals in NUS

The care and use of animals for research and teaching in NUS is bound by the Singapore Animals and Birds Act, Animals and Birds (Care and Use of Animals for Scientific Purposes) Rules 2004, and is carried out in accordance with the National Advisory Committee for Laboratory Animal Research (NACLAR) Guidelines.

Use of Vertebrate Animals

Use of all vertebrate animals is regulated and requires IACUC approval. An application must be submitted for IACUC review.

Use of Invertebrate Animals

Use of Invertebrates (except Cephalopods) is not regulated but must comply with IACUC policy on Use of Invertebrate Animals.

Use of Animal Tissues

Use of animal tissues does not require IACUC approval if the tissues are obtained from commercial sources or from the Tissue Sharing Programme. IACUC approval is required if animals are specifically euthanized for harvesting the tissues.

Use of Vertebrate Embryos

Use of vertebrate embryos does not require IACUC approval. However, a Notice of Intent should be submitted to IACUC.

Prerequisites for Use of Animals

The prerequisites for any work involving animal care and use are:

1. Occupational Health (OH) Programme

All personnel with laboratory animal contact are required to participate in the OSHE Occupational Health (OH) Programme to determine the appropriate medical surveillance, vaccinations and personnel protective equipment (PPE).

** For more information such as how to enrol in the OH programme, please contact the Occupational Health Nurse Ms Lee Kim Geok via email: uhcv63@nus.edu.sg or Tel: 65167333


2. Training

Personnel handling and/or conducting procedures on live vertebrate animals must be appropriately qualified and trained, prior to the start of any animal activity. The training course on "Responsible Care and Use of Laboratory Animals" offered by Comparative Medicine (CM) meets all the requirements for training as set forth in the Guidelines.

** To attend the CM training course, please contact CM Training Coordinator (Tel: 66013005 or email: lactayyq@nus.edu.sg)


3. Risk Assessment

All Principal Investigators (PI) of research projects are required by the Office of Safety, Health and Environment (OSHE) to complete the risk assessment exercise based on the risk assessment framework set at the University level before any new project is implemented.


4. IACUC Approval

Personnel shall not use any animal for any scientific purposes before full approval is given by the IACUC. Applications to IACUC have to be submitted via the iORC system https://wws.nus.edu.sg/iorc/login.aspx for review.


5. Other Requirements

Some projects may involve the use of substances or locations requiring permits or approvals from the relevant regulatory bodies, Some examples are listed below:

Use of human tissues requires the approval of Institutional Review Board (IRB).
Use of animals in the wild (for field studies) requires AVA or NPB permit.
Use of regulated biological agents requires the approval from MOH or AVA (contact OSHE for permits)


Animal work may commence in the AVA-licensed animal facilities or IACUC approved laboratories/classroom when all the requirements above are fulfilled. In conducting all procedures on animals, the approved IACUC protocols have to be strictly adhered to.

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