Animals in Education

Animal Care and Use Committees


The Center for Laboratory Animal Welfare (CLAW) recommends that each school or school district establish an Animal Care and Use Committee (ACUC) to assist teachers, students, and parents in complying with guidelines regarding the humane welfare of animals in education.


The ACUC can be charged with reviewing the management of classroom pets, plans for classroom activities involving animals, and proposed science fair projects. The ACUC would also ensure that all animals used in classrooms or for science fairs are well cared for and not harmed in any way.


The National Academy of Sciences suggests that members of ACUCs be appointed by the school principal and include a science teacher, a teacher of a non-science subject, and a scientist or veterinarian. Other contributors could include a student, a school administrator or a parent. At least one panel member should not be affiliated with the school or science fair, and none should be family members of the student whose science fair or independent project is being reviewed.