The information in the Animals on Premises Policy and Procedure applies to animals being introduced to our University premises.

Animals on Premises Policy

This policy is written as an extension of the University’s Policy Statement for Health and Safety, endorsed by its Strategic Management and Governors.

Policy Statement

The Robert Gordon University will ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, that all workplaces remain free from unnecessary risks to health from the keeping and caring of animals by employees, students and visitors.


  • To ensure compliance with all relevant legislation.
  • To ensure that only essential animals are allowed on premises.


  • The Vice-Principal (Corporate Operations) will ensure that the appropriate policies, procedures and audit protocols are in place and reviewed from time to time.
  • Heads of School / Department or other operational division will ensure that these policies and procedures are implemented and adhered to on a sustainable basis in their area of operational responsibility.
  • The Head of Occupational Health and Environmental Safety will ensure that audits are carried out periodically to ensure the effectiveness of control measures.

Animals on Premises Procedure


There is a general requirement under the “Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999” for employers to identify specific hazards in the workplace and to assess risk to employees and others from those hazards. Suitable control measures should then be put in place to ensure the risks are controlled in a reasonably practicable way.

One such specific hazard that may be present in various workplaces throughout the University is that related to animals on premises. This hazard may present itself should members of staff, students or visitors be allowed to take domestic pets onto premises.   

Risks associated with Animals on Premises

The main hazards associated with domestic animals on building premises are as follows:

  • Aggressive behaviour of the animals, which could lead to perceived threats or injury to employees, students or visitors
  • Contact with animal wastes
  • Transmission of diseases
  • Slips, trips and falls
  • Allergic reactions and impacts on persons with disabilities (e.g. Asthma)

These apply also to premises other than buildings, e.g. University grounds, although they may be perceived to present a lesser risk and public access is permitted in keeping with the Scottish Outdoor Access Code.

Animals on Premises

Although the above hazards may present a low risk to employees, students and visitors the risk is generally avoidable. Therefore, in order to reduce risk, the following should be adopted:

  • Under no circumstances should animals, which are kept as domestic pets, be allowed onto any RGU building premise, unless the animal is used to assist disabled persons.
  • Guide dogs are permitted access to buildings. Where a guide dog is required in a higher risk facility such as a laboratory or workshop, or any other disability support animal accompanies an employee, student or visitor to any part of a building, access consent should be requested from the Head of Occupational Health and Environmental Safety and the Vice Principal (Corporate Services), to allow an assessment of risk and impact to be made. Where access is authorised, this will be expressed in writing.

Animals Kept in Vehicles

Where owners decide to keep animals in parked vehicles, the following should apply:

  • Animals should be exercised regularly throughout the day.
  • Owners should seek advice from animal welfare establishments regarding requirements for maintaining the animal’s well being.