Canadian Council on Animal Care (CCAC)

The Canadian Council on Animal Care (CCAC) is the national organization responsible for setting and maintaining standards for the care and use of animals used in research, teaching and testing throughout Canada. Canada’s major funding agencies actively support the CCAC's goals of ensuring that animals used in science are treated in an ethical manner and are cared for properly, as well as its policy of encouraging the refinement, reduction and replacement of animal use in research (known as the Three Rs). The Government of Canada endorses CCAC standards for certification of animal care and use programs at all Canadian universities, on behalf of the public.

The University’s animal care and use program is in compliance with CCAC guidelines and maintains a CCAC Certificate of Good Animal Practice.

The CCAC assesses the University’s animal care and use program every three years. The assessment, conducted by CCAC panels composed of scientists, veterinarians and community representatives, consists of inspections of all animal research and housing facilities and a detailed review of research protocols, veterinarian reports and Animal Care Committee meeting documentation. The University’s most recent assessment site visit was October 2013.

About the Three Rs

The Three Rs tenet (Replacement, Reduction and Refinement) guides scientists on the ethical use of animals in science.

  • Replacement refers to methods which avoid or replace the use of animals in an area where animals would otherwise have been used.
  • Reduction refers to any strategy that will result in fewer animals being used.
  • Refinement refers to the modification of husbandry or experimental procedures to minimize pain and distress.

The Three Rs concept originated from the scientific community and is a widely accepted cornerstone of policies on animal-based science around the world. Ethical animal use requires consideration of animal welfare needs.

Many scientific advances in the Three Rs are reported in dedicated journals and on the websites of Three Rs Centres around the world.

In Canada oversight of scientific animal use is the responsibility of the Canadian Council on Animal Care (CCAC) and is described on the CCAC website.

Related Links