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Policy on the Care and Use of Animals in Research and Teaching

Classification number LCG 1121
Framework category Legal, Compliance and Governance
Approving authority Board of Governors
Policy owner Vice-President, Research, Innovation and International
Approval date January 2013
Review date To be assigned

Purpose

This Policy sets out the standards, requirements and responsibilities that apply to activities involving animals for research, teaching and testing purposes at the University of Ontario Institute of Technology (UOIT).  

Policy

The university is committed to the ethical care and use of animals for research, teaching and testing purposes when such activity promises to contribute to the understanding of fundamental biological principles or to the development of knowledge with a reasonable expectation of benefit for humans or animals (CCAC policy statement).

In doing so, the university will be guided by the three tenets of replacement, reduction and refinement in animal use, in order to minimize the harm to animals.  To this end, the university, through the Vice-President Research, Innovation and International, will coordinate efforts to ensure that appropriate animal care and use operations are in place and are in compliance with the Ontario Animals for Research Act and its associated regulations, the Canadian Council on Animal Care policies and guidelines, and all other applicable standards and regulations set out in Section 4. 

  1. UOIT Animal Care Committee

    The UOIT Animal Care Committee (ACC) shall oversee all research, teaching and testing conducted at the university involving the care and use of animals ensuring compliance with institutional and regulatory standards. The committee is responsible for coordinating, reviewing and approving the activities and procedures relating to the care of animals, the standards of care and facilities for animals, the training and qualifications of individuals involved in the care of animals, and the procedures for the prevention of unnecessary pain.  

    The committee shall report to the Vice-President Research, Innovation and International, and be comprised of researchers and teachers experienced in animal care, as well as staff, students and community members who have not been involved in animal use for research, teaching or testing.  The committee will also work in collaboration with animal users, veterinarians and animal care staff to oversee the ethical and appropriate use of animals.     

    Decisions of the UOIT Animal Care Committee may be appealed to the Vice-President Research, Innovation and International in accordance with the process for appeal of a decision of the ACC (002 SOP: Process for Appeal of Decisions of the ACC)

  2. Activities involving Animal Use

    All activities involving the use of animals for research, teaching and testing purposes shall be subject to ethical review, scientific merit, pedagogical review and approval by the UOIT Animal Care Committee. Researchers and teachers wishing to engage in activities involving animal use must receive written approval from the committee prior to the commencement of their activities. Animals shall not be used for research, teaching or testing purposes until all requirements outlined in this policy, as well as the most current federal and provincial legislation and applicable standards, guidelines, and regulations have been met.
    Approved activities involving animal use (protocols) shall be subject to ongoing monitoring by the UOIT Animal Care Committee, under the Post Approval Monitoring Program (004 SOP: UOIT Post Approval Monitoring Program), to ensure that they remain appropriate and continue to meet institutional and legislated standards.

    Animals used for research, teaching and testing purposes shall be cared for according to current veterinary standards.

  3. Training on Animal Care and Use

    All persons who care for and use animals for research, teaching or testing purposes must be trained under the auspices of the UOIT Animal Care Committee in the protocols appropriate to the animal species being used, and must demonstrate competence ensuring maximum benefit to the animals.

  4. Non-Compliance

    The UOIT Animal Care Committee may stop any action or activity involving the care and use of animals that fails to comply with the approved animal use protocol, federal and provincial regulatory requirements, and/or institutional policies and procedures.  In such cases, the matter will be dealt with in accordance to the procedures set out in the Post Approval Monitoring Program.

  5. Crisis Management

    The UOIT Animal Care Committee shall develop and regularly review a comprehensive crisis management program for the animal facilities and for the animal care and use program in conjunction with the general campus emergency response plan.   

Scope and Authority

This policy applies to all teaching, research or other programs or activities involving the care and use of animals or animal tissues that is:

  1. Conducted by any individual or group affiliated with the University;

  2. Undertaken under the auspices of or in affiliation with UOIT, or in university owned facilities, or using UOIT equipment, or resources.

Individual researchers and teachers, veterinarians, and animal care personnel are responsible for conducting research and teaching activities in compliance with this policy. Researchers and teachers are also responsible for educating students in the rationale for and application of this policy, and for ensuring that student activities carried out under their supervision are approved in compliance with this policy.

The Vice-President Research, Innovation & International, working in collaboration with the senior administrative team, deans, and the Animal Care Committee, is responsible for ensuring that the university’s responsibilities in this area are met, that appropriate animal care and use operations are in place, and that all activities are conducted appropriately and in accordance with institutional and legislated policies and regulations. 

Regulatory Requirements Involving Animal Care

All activities involving the care and use of animals shall adhere to the requirements of this policy, as well as the most current federal and provincial legislation and all applicable standards, guidelines and regulations set out by the following bodies:

  • Animals for Research Act (OMAFRA, Province of Ontario)

  • Canadian Council on Animal Care (CCAC) – Good Animal Practice (GAP)

  • Occupational Health and Safety Act (R.S.O. 1990) and regulations

  • Health of Animals Act         

  • Containment Standards for Facilities Handling Aquatic Animal Pathogens

  • Health of Animals Act

  • National Aquatic Animal Health Program (co-delivered by DFO and CFIA)

  • Canadian Association for Laboratory Animal Medicine (CALAM)

  • Canadian Association for Laboratory Animal Science (CALAS);

  • Canadian Veterinary Medical Association (CVMA);

  • Tri-Agency (Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on the Roles and Responsibilities in the Management of Federal Grants and Awards)

  • Canadian Food Inspection Agency and Fish Pathogens (CFIA)

  • Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO)

  • Any other regulatory body that guides in the care and use of specific animals. 

Forms and Related Documents