Recommended Set

14. Ethical statement

Authors are responsible for complying with regulations and guidelines relating to the use of animals for scientific purposes. This includes ensuring that they have the relevant approval for their study from an appropriate ethics committee and/or regulatory body before the work starts. The ethical statement provides editors, reviewers and readers with assurance that studies have received this ethical oversight [1]. This also promotes transparency and understanding about the use of animals in research and fosters public trust.

Provide a clear statement explaining how the study conforms to appropriate regulations and guidelines. Include the name of the institution where the research was approved and the ethics committee who reviewed it (e.g. Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee [IACUC] in the US or Animal Welfare and Ethical Review Body [AWERB] in the UK) and indicate protocol or project licence numbers so that the study can be identified. Also add any relevant accreditation e.g. AAALAC (American Association for Accreditation of Laboratory Animal Care) [2] or GLP (Good Laboratory Practice).

If the research is not covered by any regulation and formal ethical approval is not required (e.g. a study using animal species not protected by regulations or law), demonstrate that international standards were complied with and cite the appropriate reference. In such cases, provide a clear statement explaining why the research is exempt from regulatory approval.



  1. McGrath JC and Lilley E (2015). Implementing guidelines on reporting research using animals (ARRIVE etc.): new requirements for publication in BJP. Br J Pharmacol. doi: 10.1111/bph.12955
  2. Bayne K and Turner PV (2019). Animal Welfare Standards and International Collaborations. ILAR journal. doi: 10.1093/ilar/ily024

Example 1

“All procedures were conducted in accordance with the United Kingdom Animal (Scientific Procedures) Act 1986, approved by institutional ethical review committees (Alderley Park Animal Welfare and Ethical Review Board and Babraham Institute Animal Welfare and Ethical Review Board) and conducted under the authority of the Project Licence (40/3729 and 70/8307, respectively).” [1]

Example 2

“All protocols in this study were approved by the Committee on the Ethics of Animal Experiments of Fuwai Hospital, Peking Union Medical College and the Beijing Council on Animal Care, Beijing, China (IACUC permit number: FW2010-101523), in compliance with the Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals published by the US National Institutes of Health (NIH publication no.85-23, revised 1996).” [2]

Example 3

“Samples and data were collected according to Institut de Sélection d’Animale (ISA) protocols, under the supervision of ISA employees. Samples and data were collected as part of routine animal data collection in a commercial breeding program for layer chickens in The Netherlands. Samples and data were collected on a breeding nucleus of ISA for breeding purposes only, and is a non-experimental, agricultural practice, regulated by the Act Animals, and the Royal Decree on Procedures. The Dutch Experiments on Animals Act does not apply to non-experimental, agricultural practices. An ethical review by the Statement Animal Experiment Committee was therefore not required. No extra animal discomfort was caused for sample collection for the purpose of this study.” [3]



  1. Redfern WS, Tse K, Grant C, Keerie A, Simpson DJ, Pedersen JC, Rimmer V, Leslie L, Klein SK, Karp NA, Sillito R, Chartsias A, Lukins T, Heward J, Vickers C, Chapman K and Armstrong JD (2017). Automated recording of home cage activity and temperature of individual rats housed in social groups: The Rodent Big Brother project. PLoS ONE. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0181068
  2. Wang X, Xue Q, Yan F, Liu J, Li S and Hu S (2015). Ulinastatin Protects against Acute Kidney Injury in Infant Piglets Model Undergoing Surgery on Hypothermic Low-Flow Cardiopulmonary Bypass. PLOS ONE. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0144516
  3. Berghof TV, van der Klein SA, Arts JA, Parmentier HK, van der Poel JJ and Bovenhuis H (2015). Genetic and Non-Genetic Inheritance of Natural Antibodies Binding Keyhole Limpet Hemocyanin in a Purebred Layer Chicken Line. PLoS One. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0131088