The Animal Welfare Committee has the authority, on behalf of the University to:
- Ensure that any objectionable procedures be stopped if, in consultation with the veterinarian, the Animal Welfare Committee considers that unnecessary pain and distress is being experienced by the animal.
- Ensure that any use of animals be stopped which, by deviating from the approved protocol, causes the animals to experience undue pain and distress.
- Ensure that an animal be humanely killed if, in consultation with the veterinarian, the Animal Welfare Committee feels that pain or distress caused to the animal cannot be alleviated.
It is the responsibility of the Animal Welfare Committee to:
- Ensure that all animal users have the opportunity to become familiar with the CCAC's Guide and Ethics statement and all other CCAC guidelines and policies statements, federal, provincial or municipal statutes that may apply, as well as institutional requirements (e.g., Policies & Procedures Animal Welfare Committee).
- Inform potential investigators of their responsibility to bring to the attention of the Animal Welfare Committee, in advance, any research or teaching protocol which involves the use of live animals.
- Require that all animal users submit animal use protocol forms to the Animal Welfare Committee for review and approval. These animal use protocol forms should contain the information outlined in the CCAC Terms of Reference for Animal Care Committee (2000). In the case of funded research, review and approval must occur before the release of funds.
- Ensure that all research (including field studies), testing or teaching projects involving animals receive prior approval by the Animal Welfare Committee.
- Ensure that no animals be held for display or breeding purposes, or for eventual use in research, teaching or testing projects, without prior Animal Welfare Committee approval of a written animal use protocol.
- Establish procedures for monitoring protocols which involve animals, such as periodic visits to the animal housing facilities and receipt of annual updates of ongoing protocols.
- Ensure adequate care of animals in all stages of life, and ensure veterinary assistance in case of sickness, injury and elective procedures.
- Undertake site visits of all animal care facilities and experimental laboratories as a Committee at least once annually. Provide written reports to those responsible for the facilities following the Committee site visits.
- The Committee shall meet monthly (except in August) to review protocols.
- Protocol Review:
- Review and assess all animal use protocols, with particular emphasis on the CCAC's Guide to the Care and Use of Experimental Animals, the Ethics of Animal Investigation policy statement and the guidelines on: animal use protocol review as well as on all other CCAC guidelines and policy statements and, where necessary, require further supportive information from the investigator/teacher or meet with the investigator/teacher to ensure that all members of the committee understand the procedures to be used on the animal. Review protocols with regard to the ethical treatment of animals in all aspects of the procedures including housing, maintenance and techniques. Protocols submitted to the Animal Welfare Committee should include sufficient information written in non-technical language, where possible, to describe and justify the experiments and methods to be used. Normally protocols deemed to be CCAC Category of Invasiveness "E" will not be considered for approval. The Animal Welfare Committee must also ensure that all procedures comply with CCAC guidelines and policy statements, and, if at variance with those guidelines and policy statements, require justification for the variance on scientific grounds.
- Encourage the use of pilot studies with few animals when new approaches, methods or products are being tried, before approving new, large scale protocols. Ensure that animal users report to the Committee on the outcome (positive or negative) of any pilot studies.
- Each protocol should be discussed and detailed recommendations should be recorded. The Animal Welfare Committee should both discuss protocols and make decisions on them during full committee meetings, rather than through individual reviews, and should attempt to reach decisions by consensus. The protocol should either be approved, approved pending revision, or the Principal Investigator (PI) should be asked to re-submit. The PI should be advised of the Committee's decision by email, asked to respond to any recommendations by email, and to submit a revised protocol. Normally, the full Animal Welfare Committee should make decisions regarding the PI's responses to their recommendations. The PI should be informed of the final decision by email.
- Responsibility for interim review of protocols requesting immediate approval will be delegated to a protocol review subcommittee consisting of the Animal Welfare Committee Chair, the University Veterinarian, the Community Representative, and the Animal Welfare Committee Coordinator. If agreement cannot be reached on an expedited review by the protocol review subcommittee, then the protocol should be submitted to the Animal Welfare Committee for review. If approval is granted by the protocol review subcommittee, such interim approval will be subject to discussion and final approval at a full meeting of the Animal Welfare Committee.
- Each approved protocol should be assigned a protocol number, which should be used to monitor the number of animals used. Research and teaching protocols will be approved for up to four years. There are no specific deadlines for protocol submission and protocols are reviewed as soon as possible after submission. The PI will receive a decision on their protocol within 1 to 6 weeks after submission.
- All modifications to an approved protocol must be approved by the AWC before being initiated by the researcher. Major modifications may require the submission of a new animal welfare protocol. Major modifications involving the 3Rs (refinement, reduction, replacement) will not normally require the submission of a new animal welfare protocol.
- Changes that would require the submission of a new protocol may include, but aren't limited to:
- The use of more invasive or more frequent procedures
- An increase in the CCAC Category of Invasiveness
- Changes in animal species
- A significant increase in the number of animals over those originally requested
- Changes that may require the submission of a new protocol may include, but aren't limited to:
- The use of entirely new procedures or medications
- Changes in the use and type of anesthetics
- Changes in the use and type of analgesics
- Changes in the method of euthanasia
- Changes in staff
- A decrease in the CCAC Category of Invasiveness
- The AWC may ask for a new protocol based on their assessment on the level of stress or discomfort to an animal caused by such changes.
- Ensure that, for research and testing projects, a peer review of scientific merit is carried out. If the review is not carried out by an external peer review agency, the Animal Welfare Committee should require that it be obtained according to the CCAC Guidelines on Animal Use Protocol Review. Concerns will be referred to the Vice President (Academic). The Animal Welfare Committee should consult with an expert, if necessary, to determine the pedagogical merit of teaching animal welfare protocols.
- Appeal of the Animal Welfare Committee's decision should be made in writing to the Vice President (Academic).
- Review all protocols annually. Annual reviews should be approved by the protocol review subcommittee.
- The AWC should regularly review (at least every three years):
- its terms of reference to meet new CCAC guidelines or policies and changing needs within the institution, the scientific community, the animal welfare community and society as a whole;
- the security of the animals and research facilities;
- standard operating procedures and institutional animal care and use policies; and
- policies and procedures for monitoring animal care and experimental procedures within the institution.
- Maintain liaison with the CCAC Secretariat and with the provincial authorities, where applicable.
- Submit complete and accurate animal use information to the CCAC annually.
- Develop a crisis management program for the animal facilities and for the animal care and use program, in conjunction with any general institutional crisis management plan(s).
- Develop and maintain communication with bona fide animal welfare organizations, where possible.
- Sponsor, from time to time, seminars or workshops on the use of animals in science and the ethics of animal experimentation. This should include a formal orientation session to introduce new Animal Welfare Committee members to the animal care and use program and its members, policies and procedures, as well as to the animal facilities and to CCAC guidelines and policies.
- Try to achieve and maintain a high profile within the institution and in the community in order to demonstrate the institution's efforts in promoting animal welfare and to allay some of the public concerns regarding animal experimentation.
|1 Community Representative
|1 Faculty Member from a Department other than those using animals
|Hua Li (Math & Computer Science)
||01-09-2011 - 31-08-2013
|1 Representative from Occupational Health & Safety
|Isabelle Gauthier (ex officio)
|2 Faculty members and one alternate faculty member, experienced in research animal care and use, from animal user departments. At least one faculty member should be from Biological Sciences and at least one faculty member should be from Psychology or Neuroscience
|Alice Hontela (Biological Sciences) - Chair
||01-01-2012 to 31-08-2013
|Sergio Pellis (Neuroscience)
||01-09-2012 to 31-08-2014
|Louise Barrett (Psychology)
||01-09-2012 to 31-08-2014
|A student representative
|Kim Dohms (Biological Sciences)
||01-09-2011 to 31-08-2013
|Victoria Holec (Neurscience)
||01-09-2012 to 31-08-2013
|A technical staff representative
|Karen Dow-Cazal, Animal Care Technician, CCBN
01-09-2004 to 31-08-2014
|Roger Royer, Aquatic Research Technician, ARF
01-09-2011 to 31-08-2014
|Susan Entz, AWC Coordinator (ex officio)
The University Animal Welfare Committee (AWC) includes representation from the following areas:
- Two faculty members and one alternate faculty member, experienced in research animal care and use, from animal user departments. At least one faculty member should be from Biological Sciences and at least one faculty member should be from Psychology or Neuroscience.
- A faculty member from a Department other than those using animals
- A representative from Occupational Health & Safety
- A veterinarian, experienced in the use of animals for research (ex officio)
- A non-University member representing the community interests and concerns
- A technical staff representative
- A student representative
- The AWC Coordinator (ex officio)
- Other individuals may be asked to review the protocols as the need arises. A Chair is elected annually. The Chair should not be an ex officio member, nor be directly involved in the management of the institutional animal facilities, nor be a clinical veterinarian for the institution, nor be an animal health or veterinary personnel member charged with ensuring compliance with CCAC guidelines, nor be involved in the preparation of a significant number of the protocols to be reviewed by the Committee, in order to avoid potential conflicts of interest.
- Committee members are appointed by the Vice President, Academic for two-year periods, with terms staggered to provide continuity. Normally, terms may be renewed once.
Two year alternating terms. The Committee reports through the Vice President, Research to the President.
Quorum = 6 (must include the Veterinarian and the Community Representative)
Animal Welfare Approval Form
Canadian Council on Animal Care
Approved by General Faculties Council - October 2/07