Originator: Director, Research and Planning
Approver: President’s Council
Effective: April 12, 2005
Replaces: New

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Introduction

This policy with respect to Animal Care and Research is designed to achieve the humane treatment and care of animals in the advancement and transmission of knowledge. Red River College is committed to maintaining high standards of animal care and use in animal-based teaching, research or testing.

The term “animal” as defined in this policy refers to vertebrate animals. It is recognized, however, that in regard to ethical issues surrounding the experimental use of animals, it will be necessary to include some invertebrates, in particular, cephalopods (octopi and squid), insofar as consideration should be given to the complexity of the central nervous system of a species and its sentience, rather than any physical appearance and phylogenetic relationship to the human.

Policy

  1. This policy will apply to all use of animals in college programs including teaching, testing and research.
  2. The College accepts the principles established by the Canadian Council on Animal Care (CCAC) as published in their guides. Standards are those outlined in the most current Guide to the Care and Use of Experimental Animals. In addition, there must be adherence to all pertinent federal, provincial and municipal regulations.
  3. An application describing the proposed use of animals must be filed with, reviewed and approved by the College Animal Care Committee before animals can be used for research and teaching.
  4. The Animal Care Committee has the responsibility and authority to review all situations using animals.
  5. Failure to follow this policy is considered to be a breach of academic responsibility. Such alleged breaches are investigated under the College’s Research Integrity Policy.

Principles of Animal Care

The provision of humane care of animals in research and teaching will be assured by adherence to the following principles:

  1. All activities involving the use of animals must be approved by the Animal Care Committee in accordance with the current guidelines of the Canadian Council on Animal Care.1
  2. Animals will only be used when alternative procedures are not feasible.
  3. The species will be carefully selected to ensure the most effective use of animals.
  4. The least invasive techniques possible will be employed.
  5. The number of animals used will be the minimum required to achieve the objectives of the research/teaching program.
  6. Alleviation/reduction of pain and distress will be of prime concern during and following all procedures.
  7. All animals will be cared for according to current veterinary standards.

Animal Care Committee

Responsibilities

The Animal Care Committee (ACC) is responsible for co-ordinating and reviewing:

  1. the activities and procedures relating to the care of animals;
  2. the standards of care and facilities for animals;
  3. the training and qualifications of personnel that are engaged in the care of animals;
  4. procedures for the prevention of unnecessary pain including the use of anaesthetics and analgesics;
  5. the College facilities and animal care procedures to ensure that the facilities are in compliance with all regulations.

Procedures

  1. Faculty and staff who intend to use animals must be completely familiar with the requirements of animal care and use.
  2. Applications describing the procedural and ethical guidelines to use animals must be submitted to the Animal Care Committee, for review and approval.
  3. Prior to commencement of the research project, the researcher must submit copies and approval certificate issued by the Animal Care Committee, to the Director of Applied Research and Commercialization.
  4. All Red River College animal-based teaching activities, no matter where they will take place, are the subject of written protocols that are submitted to, and approved by, the Animal Care Committee.

Related Policies

H1 – Research Involving Human Subjects
H2 – Integrity in Research and Scholarship
A9 – Intellectual Property and Copyright
F9 – Conflict of Interest

Footnotes

1 The Canadian Council on Animal Care’s Guide to the Care and Use of Experimental Animals, Vol. 1, 2nd Edn., 1993 lays down the principles for good animal care and use. In addition, CCAC Guide to the Care and Use of Experimental Animals, Vol. 2, 1984 provides information on the husbandry of experimental animals on a species by species basis. See http://www.ccac.ca/en_/