The Nelson Mandela University Research Ethics Committee (Animal) (REC-A) is charged with monitoring the treatment of animals used in both research and teaching at the institution. It has the responsibility of reviewing all protocols involving animal use in order to ensure that they are in accordance with acceptable ethical and scientific standards as described in the South African National Standard for the Care and Use of Animals for Scientific Purposes 10386:2021. The REC-A assists the institution in complying with legislation and creating an awareness of ethical conduct in researchers and teachers.

Respect for animals must underpin all decisions and actions of the people involved in the care and use of animals for scientific purposes. This respect is demonstrated by

  • using animals only when it is justified,
  • supporting the well-being of the animals involved,
  • avoiding or minimizing harm, including pain, suffering, distress and lasting harm, to those animals,
  • applying high standards of scientific integrity,
  • applying the four Rs at all stages of animal care and use:
    1. the Replacement of animals with alternatives;
    2. the Reduction in the number of animals used;
    3. the Refinement of techniques used to minimize the adverse impact on animals; and
    4. the knowledge and acceptance of one’s Responsibilities.

SANS 10386:2021_Ed 2: The care and use of animals for scientific purposes (Please note: This document is subject to copyright and is only available to staff and students at Nelson Mandela University. It may reside on a LAN, WAN, intranet, internet or ECM server and is available in accordance with copyright exploitation agreement no. 014/009/21-006, valid until 2023-03-31. Only students, lecturers and staff members of the Nelson Mandela University may make paper copies of the standard. No paper copy may be photocopied or reproduced in any way.’)

Applying for Ethics Approval from REC-A:

All applications for approval by Mandela staff and/or registered students must be submitted online on MEOS (Mandela Ethics Online System). This includes the following:

  • Research studies: Any activity involving the acquisition, keeping or use of live animals for a research study
  • Practicals: Any activity involving the acquisition, keeping or use of live animals for practical work
  • Use of an External Animal Sample Collection: Any activity that requires the acquisition of already existing animal samples
  • Use of Data from an Animal Sample Collection: Any activity where there there is a need for previously collected/secondary data to be used in a study
  • Extension Applications
  • Amendments to an Approved Protocol
  • Reporting of an Unexpected Mortality/Adverse Event
  • Reporting the Closure of a Research Study


Reporting on protocols not approved on MEOS:

Progress reports, amendments, extensions, etc. for protocols that were not approved on MEOS cannot be submitted on MEOS. The processes to be followed can be found on the previous REC-A webpage


Reporting Research Misconduct:

Any member of the public or Nelson Mandela fraternity who is concerned that Mandela staff or student research might be contravening ethical research principles is asked to report their concerns. The reporting process as well as further information on what constitutes research misconduct is available on the Report Research Misconduct page.