Media and Animal Research

Revision Date: 
November 9, 2023
Responsible Office: 
Office of Research Administration (ORA)
Policy Sections

4489.1 Background

Appropriate oversight of all media provides for the safety of research animals, and protects the confidentiality and integrity of research. Media covered by this document include, but may not be limited to newspapers, magazines and other written/online media, television and radio, photographs, digital images or video, and all social media involving vertebrate animals, alive or dead, in vivarium facilities, laboratory spaces or field studies.

4489.2 Policy

All interviews intended for TV, radio, or print/online media must be approved by the Office of Public Affairs & Communications (203-432-1345 or

Use of recording devices such as cameras, video recorders, tape recorders, cell phones, tablets, etc. in a secured animal facility must receive prior approval from the Director of Yale Animal Resources Center, or designee, with the following exceptions:

  1. The PI or authorized designee requiring such images to document procedures or outcomes, or to otherwise support research data. Although, a brief description of imaging or recording should be described in the IACUC protocol.
  2. Authorized personnel (e.g. VCS or their designees) utilizing such images to assist in the clinical diagnosis of disease, to monitor the health and/or wellbeing of the animals, to monitor surgical procedures, or to observe behavior of animals that are being socially housed to determine compatibility.
  3. Authorized personnel requiring such images to document compliance-related incidents.
  4. Authorized external visitors utilizing images to document inspection findings (e.g. USDA, AAALAC).
  5. Histological sections and radiographic images related to the research project.

To assure accurate representation of the University’s policies and procedures, videos depicting live or dead vertebrate animals that will be submitted to the Journal of Visualized Experiments (JoVE) or other similar online publications are to be reviewed by animal program leadership prior to submission. Histological sections and radiographic images are exempt from this policy.

Uploading any live or dead animal photos or videos to social media is strictly prohibited.

4489.3 Procedures

Requests for review and approval of image distribution are to be submitted to the Office of Animal Research Support (, who will coordinate the review with relevant members of program leadership (Attending Veterinarian, IACUC Chair, Institutional Official).

Requests for interviews, etc. by the media must be approved by the Office of Public Affairs and Communications (OPAC). Please see the Filming at Yale website for guidance.

4489.4 Special Circumstances

Any exceptions must be reviewed and approved, in advance, by animal care program leadership and OPAC.