Care and Use of Animals

Category: Research
Number: RCH-020-005
Audience: All University employees
Issued: May 26, 2010
Revised: February 25, 2015
Owner(s): VP (Research)
Approved by: Executive of Council
Contact: Director, Office for Research, Innovation and Partnership - 306-585-4775

Introduction

The University of Regina is committed to maintaining the highest possible standards of animal care and use in research and education.  Standards for animal care and use are outlined by the Canada Council on Animal Care (CCAC) and in other guidelines published or endorsed by the CCAC, and are in accordance with the Agreement on the Administration of Agency Grants and Awards by Research Institutions.

The committee authorized to oversee the administrative aspects of research and education involving animals is the President’s Committee on Animal Care (PCAC).  It is the responsibility of the PCAC to establish procedures to ensure compliance with applicable regulations.  It is not a right to use animals in research or educational activities: rather, if demonstrated that it is necessary, and if this necessity can be justified, the privilege to do so may be extended.  

Only those who receive approval from the PCAC may bring animals onto University property.  This includes animals on display for events, animals involved in fieldwork off-campus and animals occupying University space (including offices and leased space) but does not include service animals used by a person with a disability.

Purpose

The purpose of this policy is to ensure ethical and humane use and responsible care of animals used to conduct research and education.

Scope

Given that the use of animals on University property should be primarily related to education and research, this policy applies to all research and education involving animals:

  1. conducted by University of Regina Faculty, Staff, and Students;
  2. undertaken under the auspices of or in affiliation with the University of Regina; or
  3. using University of Regina equipment, facilities or resources.

Definitions


  • Animals – non-human, living vertebrates and any living invertebrates of the class cephalopoda, including free-living and reproducing larval forms, used for research, education or breeding purposes.
  • Faculty an individual employed by the University of Regina who holds an academic appointment.
  • Principal Investigator – a faculty member or equivalent visiting scholar in charge of a research or education project.
  • Staff – an individual employed by the University of Regina or an individual employed by a Faculty member.
  • Student – an individual enrolled in a course and/or program of study at the University of Regina or from another institution visiting the University of Regina and using University of Regina equipment, facilities or resources to conduct their study.

Policy

Review for Animal Use

All care and use of animals for research or educational purposes must be reviewed and approved by the PCAC prior to commencement to ensure it is conducted in accordance with the Canadian Council on Animal Care (CCAC).

The PCAC may occasionally review non-University protocols for care and use of animals to ensure they meet animal care and use standards, where possible.  The PCAC does not approve non-University protocols because the University does not have authority over the work or personnel involved.

Accountability

Implementation and compliance with policies on the proper care and use of animals in research and education is an institutional responsibility shared by University of Regina administration, the animal facility director, faculty members, staff, students and the PCAC. 

Roles and Responsibilities

President’s Committee on Animal Care

  • The PCAC will review the proposed research or education protocol involving animals to determine if the proposed use and ethics comply with applicable regulations.
  • If the PCAC finds that the proposed research or education protocol is compliant, the protocol may be approved.
  • The PCAC will monitor compliance with approved protocols and inspect all animal facilities at least once per year.

Vice-President (Research)

  • The Vice-President (Research) bears executive responsibility for the implementation of the University’s animal care and use policy.
  • The Vice-President (Research) shall resolve any appeals by applying the PCAC Appeal Provision (PCAC Terms of Reference Section 4.L2).

Deans and Directors

  • Deans and Directors will ensure that those who use, and those who are being trained to use, animals for research or education carried out by members in their faculty or department, or in association with their faculty or department, are compliant with applicable University policies and procedures. 

Faculty Members and Principal Investigators

  • Faculty Members and Principal Investigators must ensure that work carried out under their supervision is conducted in accordance with University policy on the care and use of animals. 
  • Faculty Members and Principal Investigators are responsible for designing and carrying out research or education in accordance with the applicable requirements.
  • Faculty Members and Principal Investigators are also responsible for ensuring students working under their supervision are compliant with applicable requirements.

Students

  • Graduate and undergraduate students must ensure they follow the animal care and use policy.

Consulting University Veterinarian

  • The consulting Veterinarian(s) or a designated Veterinarian:

      a)    provides assistance to all Faculty Members and Principal Investigators using animals for educational purposes;

      b)    provides emergency veterinary services where warranted; and

      c)    remains current on new theories, practices and emerging trends in animal care.

  • The consulting Veterinarian or a designated Veterinarian is delegated the authority to:

      a)    terminate any procedure which causes unnecessary pain or stress to animals or which deviates from approved protocols; and

      b)    euthanize any animals believed to be in pain or distress that cannot be alleviated.

Facilities

  • The University will acquire and maintain only the number and type of animals that can be accommodated in existing facilities in accordance with applicable regulations.
  • If space is unavailable, research may need to be modified or rescheduled or funds may need to be allocated for modification or expansion of existing facilities.
  • Approval of a protocol, authorization of a research grant, or receipt of a contract does not guarantee the University will be able to acquire, house and care for the research animals specified under the terms of the project if, at the time the work proceeds, the capacity of the University’s facilities is otherwise fully used or space is unavailable.

Consequences for Noncompliance

  • Conducting animal research that has not been reviewed or approved by the PCAC is considered noncompliant.
  • Acquisition of animals for education and research that has not been approved by the PCAC is considered noncompliant.
  • Cases of suspected noncompliance will be investigated by the PCAC and appropriate actions will be taken.  Appropriate actions may include but are not limited to the misconduct procedures as outlined in the Procedures for Reporting and Investigating Scholarly Misconduct.
  • Once approval from the PCAC has been granted, failure to adhere to the conditions of the approved protocol constitutes noncompliance.

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