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Issued by:
Office of the Vice President for Research
November 2019

Policy Statement

This policy describes under what conditions photographing (cameras/cell phones), video-recording and sound-recording devices are permitted in any area where animals are housed, tested or used at Stony Brook University, including, but not limited to, the Animal Care Facility (DLAR), research/teaching laboratories, field study locations, and university vehicles/vessels.


Stony Brook University is aware that images/recordings may be needed for various reasons, including research, training or documentation of clinical cases. Images must only be utilized for scholarly or scientific purposes. This policy accommodates the scientific needs of those who require photographs, filming and/or recordings for collection or dissemination of their research data.

In general the use of any photographic, video or recordings devices is prohibited, unless it is approved as part of your IACUC application. When photographing, videotaping and/or audio-recording of the animals or animal facilities is proposed for research purposes, the IACUC proposal must include a scientific justification for the recording device(s). The use of a cell phone/camera and other devices capable of capturing images/recordings of animals or animal facilities for personal use is strictly prohibited.

  1. ONLY Stony Brook IACUC approved personnel are permitted to take pictures, movies or sound recordings of research animals for the purpose of recording instructional/research activities, and this must be described in the IACUC-approved protocol.
  2. The DLAR Director must be contacted whenever coordinating a visit with an external entity/outside media crew(s). The PI must submit and secure an amendment approval from the IACUC documenting the reason for this camera/filming. The PI must obtain permission in advance for the external entity/outside media crew to be on the premises through the Stony Brook University Media Relations Officer. The outside entity will be required to sign a Media Use Agreement.
  3. Visiting faculty, visiting scientists, prospective employees, prospective students, etc. are NOT permitted to capture images or sound recordings in the DLAR or in research/teaching laboratories.
  4. Those who do not follow these guidelines are subject to immediate suspension of animal work privileges and access pending IACUC review and further action.
  5. Anyone found taking unauthorized photographs or recordings will be immediately asked to leave the facility and must relinquish images or other recordings obtained without permission. For ALL DLAR employees, taking unauthorized photos or recordings and failure to follow these guidelines are grounds for disciplinary action, up to and including termination.


  1. All procedures depicted in photographs/recordings must be described and approved in your IACUC submission.
  2. No cage cards, building names, room numbers, or employee badges/IDs can be visible.
  3. All personnel visible must be wearing appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE).
  4. Appropriate safety, handling and restraint methods for the species must be used.
  5. Images should only show the necessary parts of the animal to accurately depict the approved experiment and all surroundings (cages or pens, accessories) must be clean and tidy. Animal should be appropriately draped. Water bottles and feeders can be visible in the photograph.
  6. If the animal is deceased, the animal should be placed on a clean drape and the area surrounding the animal must be free of any bodily fluids. Images of abnormalities/ lesions should be draped, framed and/or cropped to minimize viewing of the animal.


  1. If video-monitoring or audio-monitoring remotely, a description of the duration of the recording/taping, the device(s) on which the monitored activities will display and safeguards established to ensure that non-research staff do not have access to such recordings must be provided in your IACUC application. Remote access should be conducted via VPN.
  2. Recordings shall not be streamed/saved to personal hand-held devices and images and/or audio-recordings of research animals shall not be posted to any type of social media (Facebook, Instagram, etc.), news venues, or laboratory websites, unless permitted by the Vice President for Research, the DLAR Director and the Media Relations Officer.
  3. Any removable storage devices (tapes, flash drives, etc.) that contain images and sound recordings of animals must be encrypted and kept in a secure, locked area with limited access with two-factor authentication, such as password-protection in addition to required encryption.
  4. Computers containing images and/or audio-recordings must be password-protected and the images/recordings must be destroyed as soon as no longer required for the research. Recordings should be promptly downloaded to a secured drive and not stored for longer than necessary on the camera, video recording device, an unsecured computer hard drive or other unsecured external storage device.


  1. When performed by or at the direction of the DLAR veterinary staff for the purpose of diagnosing or documenting clinical disease, veterinary care or treatment.
  2. When performed by IACUC members or office staff to document conditions during IACUC mandated inspections.
  3. When performed by government inspectors (e.g. USDA Veterinary Medical Officer) when required to document condition of facility, compliance or animal welfare issues.
  4. If an investigator is personally taking photographs/video for the purpose of publication or conferences, to include in a grant application, or to share with a project collaborator, he/she does not need to request approval for these activities in an IACUC protocol.
  5. If an investigator is taking photographs/video for the purpose of getting IACUC/DLAR feedback related to an adverse effect.


Office of Research Compliance
W5530 Frank Melville Jr. Memorial Library
Stony Brook, NY 11794-3368

Relevant Standards, Codes, Rules, Regulations, Statutes and Policies

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