Video recordings, photographs and audio recordings are important tools for research, allowing researchers to gather, store, and share important information about their work. As the National Institutes of Health has recognized, with respect to its own intramural research, there are scientific and clinical reasons to obtain and share photographs, audio and video recordings of animals and animal procedures in vivaria and laboratories. Reasons may include documenting clinical care, research, teaching, or test results.
This policy is intended to clarify under what circumstances filming, photography, and audio recording of animals involved in research is allowed in UCLA facilities. It also describes the permissible uses of such recordings. It is intended to ensure that when recordings, photos, or videos are used in animal research, they are used in a way that ensures respect for the privacy and safety of faculty, staff, and students involved in such research.
Animal Use Area: All areas at UCLA where animals are housed, tested, studied, or used and conveyances in which animals are transported between animal use areas.
Audio Recording: The capture of sounds by any means onto any media, or posting to the internet, including but not limited to, electronic devices such as personal computers, mobile phones or personal digital devices.
Filming: The capture of moving images by any means on any media, or posting to the internet, including but not limited to, film, videotape, digital disk, or any electronic transmission to another medium or the internet, and including live-streaming.
Photography: The capture of still images by any means on any media or posting to the internet, including but not limited to, film cameras, digital cameras, electronic devices such as personal computers, mobile phones or personal digital devices.
A. Permissible uses
The Filming, Photography and Audio Recording of animals in Animal Use Areas is permitted only under the following circumstances:
- When performed by a Principal Investigator ("PI") or designee as part of an ARC-approved study for a scientifically justifiable reason (e.g., behavioral analysis, clinical feature documentation, or laboratory documentation);
- When performed by a PI or designee for the purpose of recording for instructional activities as described in an ARC-approved protocol (e.g., behavioral testing recordings);
- When performed by, or at the direction of, the Attending Veterinarian ("AV") for the purpose of diagnosing or documenting clinical disease, veterinary care, treatment, or training;
- When performed by compliance personnel (e.g., ARC staff) when needed to document condition of facilities, compliance, or animal welfare issues;
- When performed by UCLA EH&S, emergency, and other official personnel (e.g., fire, police, Facilities) for purposes of accident/incident report and investigation or for legal reasons; and
- When performed by government inspectors (e.g., USDA Veterinary Medical Officer) or for purposes related to accreditation.
Individuals who wish to record in Animal Use Areas for reasons not described above must have prior written approval from the ARC Chair to perform any Audio Recording, Filming, or Photography. Requests for such permission should be made in writing to the Chair with sufficient time to allow review and consideration.
B. General provisions
For security and safety reasons, every effort should be made to avoid recording or showing materials that disclose the specific location of the animal and Animal Use Areas (e.g., buildings, room numbers) and any personally identifying information regarding individuals working with such animals. For similar reasons, meta data that reflects an exact GPS location of the recording and other details about the specific location of an animal or Animal Use Area should be removed before sharing as permitted by Section III.C (Distribution) of this Policy.
All recorded images and sounds should be stored securely, preferably on a password-protected and encrypted storage device or computer with access limited to those individuals with a need for access to meet their academic or administrative responsibilities. Recordings should not be stored on devices that are easily accessed or stolen, e.g., a USB stick. Recordings should be maintained only so long as there is a continuing academic or administrative need to do so.
All procedures to be recorded or shown must be described in an approved ARC protocol.
Appropriate personal protective equipment ("PPE") must be worn by all persons, as appropriate for the species of animal and procedure demonstrated.
Audio Recording, Filming and Photography by students is prohibited absent prior written permission from the PI in accordance with an ARC-approved protocol.
C. Distribution and Enforcement
With the exception of publication of an IACUC-approved study in a scientific journal, conference and meeting presentations, grant applications, collaborative work with colleagues, or in response to a legal obligation to release such material, the release or publication of an Audio Recording, Filming, or Photography to individuals outside of the University shall be approved in advance in writing by the ARC Chair. Requests for such approval shall be submitted to the ARC Chair through the ARC administrative office. The Chair may consult with other members of the University community as needed in deciding whether to approve such requests.
Reports of potential violations of this policy should be reported to the ARC. The ARC may investigate and review such reports in accordance with the ARC Policy on Investigating Allegations of Mistreatment or Other Noncompliance Issues. Where the ARC determines that a violation has occurred, it may require corrective actions; it may also refer such reports to other units of the University for further review.
 See NIH Guidelines for Collecting and Releasing Animal Images and Audio Recordings