ANIMAL CARE COMMITTEEE
GUIDELINES FOR ETHICS REVIEW OF RESEARCH INVOLVING ANIMAL
These Guidelines are designed to assist Researchers to make a thorough application to Ryerson
University=s Animal Care Committee [ACC] for ethics review of all protocols using animals.
Each experiment with animals needs to undergo a review of its research protocol to ensure that
the treatment of animals are conducted according to the Canadian Council on Animal Care,
CCAC, standards. Please use these Guidelines to assist you in completing the above form for
submission to Ryerson=s Animal Care Committee for ethical review. You may send completed
application form by e-mail to the Research Ethics Coordinator, firstname.lastname@example.org and
to the Chair of the ACC, email@example.com.
If you require more information, please refer to the CCAC website at www.ccac.ca and Ryerson
University=s policies on the use of animals in research at
http://www.ryerson.ca/about/vpresearch or contact the Office of the Vice President, Research and
Innovation at 416-979-5000, ext. 7112.
Animal Care Form Sections
Section I. Project Information
Funding Agency: The source(s) of all the funds which will support the project must be
identified. For example; the granting agency(ies), contracting company, departmental
teaching budget, diagnostic laboratory, etc.
Descriptive Title: The title should reflect what is happening to the animals in the study.
Assurance of Scientific Peer Review
The University Animal Care Committee needs assurance that the proposed work is of
scientific merit, and that the experimental design is appropriate. Some research projects
are not reviewed for scientific soundness by the granting agency (e.g., projects funded
internally or by block grants, or by agencies which want a specific problem examined).
All persons working on the project with animals, their department, their academic
qualifications, and previous laboratory animal science training should be listed.
Animal Use Information
Justifying Animal Numbers: The proposed number of animals used must be justified.
This should include a clear outline of the number of animals per group, the number of
treatment groups, the different phases of a study, etc. In a multiple year study, identify
clearly those animals used in the first year, and in subsequent years.
The information on animal numbers should include a description of any statistics used to
predict necessary group sizes, and a description of the statistical interpretation of the
Description of Manipulations Applied to the Animals
All manipulations applied to an animal should be described in enough detail for the
committee, including the lay members, to clearly understand what is happening to each
animal in the study. Sometimes concise descriptions of the proposed animal
manipulations extracted from the grant proposal, and included in the appropriate place on
the form, may be adequate. If there is a sequence of manipulations, please provide a
"flow-chart" of the animal manipulations, including a time frame for these. A Standard
Operating Procedure (SOP) for specific manipulations, if already set down, should be
included with the protocol.
Evaluation of Distress / Discomfort / Pain
Assessment of Pain/Discomfort: Describe in detail any procedure, manipulation or
technique which in your judgment would cause pain or discomfort to the animal in the
absence of adequate anesthesia/analgesia. Use the supplementary sheet if necessary (e.g.,
for a surgery SOP). Assess the expected duration of pain/discomfort.
Measures used to alleviate pain and discomfort: These should be described in detail,
giving drugs, doses, timing and sequence of drugs, etc. These should be discussed with
laboratory animal veterinarian. If for scientific reasons certain analgesics cannot be used,
these must be justified. Please use supplementary sheet if necessary.
Category of Invasiveness
This is an assessment of the potential for pain and suffering of the animals to be used,
and is based on the CCAC Categories of Invasiveness in Animal Experiments. There are
five categories - A to E - of increasing invasiveness. Category A involves no
manipulations of live vertebrates, while Category E includes procedures which cause
severe pain in the unanesthetized, conscious animal (e.g., burn or terminal cancer studies,
procedures where death may be the endpoint). It is important for the principal
investigator to have considered how invasive the procedures are likely to be, and assign a
category to this on the form. See Description below for all categories A to E.
Occupational Health and Safety Concerns
Please identify any potentially hazardous agents/substances to be used in this project? If
such are identified, this protocol will be forwarded to the appropriate committee for their
information (e.g., Biohazards, Radiation Safety).
Method(s) of Euthanasia
The CCAC Guide, and the laboratory animal veterinarians, may be consulted for
acceptable methods of humanely killing experimental animals.
Objectives of the Proposed Animal Use
The objectives of the proposed research must be written in plain English, with a
minimum of scientific terminology. This is essential for all members of the Protocol
Review Committee to understand why the research is being proposed. Sometimes the lay
summary or press release section of a grant proposal may be suitable for this part of the
Assurance of Animal Care form.
What is often submitted (example): An Assessment of the Value of a
Vegetable Oil-Organic Emulsion on the Gustatory Features of
Laminates of Heat Processed Yeast-Grain Combinations, Nitrated
Jambon, and Bacterially Bioprocessed Lactogenic Products. What is
needed: Does Mayo Improve the Taste of Ham and Cheese
Declaration by Principal Investigator
This is an assurance by the principal investigator that the literature has been searched;
that an alternative to the proposed animal use is not feasible; that the proposed animal use
does not unnecessarily duplicate other animal use; and that the proposed animal use is
necessary. Further, that all animals used in this research project/course will be cared for
and used in accordance with the Guidelines of the Canadian Council on Animal Care and
the Regulations of the University Committee on Animal Care and Supply. Please attach
copies of any certification or accreditation of the facility where the animals will be house
and the study conducted.
CATEGORIES OF INVASIVENESS IN ANIMAL EXPERIMENTS
Investigators and teachers who consider it essential to use vertebrates or invertebrates in their
research, teaching or testing in the laboratory or in the field, must adhere to humane principles,
and take cognizance of the Canadian Council on Animal Care's (CCAC) Ethics of Animal
Investigation and other CCAC documentation in assigning a category. Protocols must be
submitted to an appropriate review committee for all studies and courses which involve the use of
vertebrates and some invertebrates in Categories B through E. Cephalopods and some other
higher invertebrates have nervous systems as well developed as in some vertebrates, and may
therefore warrant inclusion in Category B, C, D, or E.
The following list of categories provides possible examples of experimental procedures which
are considered to be representative of each category.
A. Experiments on most invertebrates or on live isolates
Possible examples: the use of tissue culture and tissues obtained at necropsy or from the
slaughterhouse; the use of eggs, protozoa or other single-celled organisms; experiments involving
containment, incision or other invasive procedures on metazoa.
B. Experiments which cause little or no discomfort or stressPossible examples:
domestic flocks or herds being maintained in simulated or actual commercial production
management systems; the short-term and skillful restraint of animals for purposes of observation
or physical examination; blood sampling; injection of material in amounts that will not cause
adverse reactions by the following routes: intravenous, subcutaneous, intramuscular,
intraperitoneal, or oral, but not intrathoracic or intracardiac (Category C); acute non-survival
studies in which the animals are completely anesthetized and do not regain consciousness;
approved methods of euthanasia following rapid unconsciousness, such as anesthetic overdose, or
decapitation preceded by sedation or light anesthesia; short periods of food and/or water
deprivation equivalent to periods of abstinence in nature.
C. Experiments which cause minor stress or pain of short duration
Possible examples: cannulation or catheterization of blood vessels or body cavities under
anesthesia; minor surgical procedures under anesthesia, such as biopsies, laparoscopy; short
periods of restraint beyond that for simple observation or examination, but consistent with
minimal distress; short periods of food and/or water deprivation which exceed periods of
abstinence in nature; behavioural experiments on conscious animals that involve short-term,
stressful restraint; exposure to non-lethal levels of drugs or chemicals. Such procedures should
not cause significant changes in the animal's appearance, in physiological parameters such as
respiratory or cardiac rate, or fecal or urinary output, or in social responses.
Note: During or after Category C studies, animals must not show self-mutilation, anorexia,
dehydration, hyperactivity, increased recumbency or dormancy, increased vocalization,
aggressive-defensive behaviour or demonstrate social withdrawal and self-isolation.
D. Experiments which cause moderate to severe distress or discomfort
Possible examples: major surgical procedures conducted under general anesthesia, with
subsequent recovery; prolonged (several hours or more) periods of physical restraint; induction of
behavioural stresses such as maternal deprivation, aggression, predator-prey interactions;
procedures which cause severe, persistent or irreversible disruption of sensorimotor organization;
the use of Freund's Complete Adjuvant (FCA) (see CCAC Guidelines on Acceptable
Other examples include induction of anatomical and physiological abnormalities that will
result in pain or distress; the exposure of an animal to noxious stimuli from which escape is
impossible; the production of radiation sickness; exposure to drugs or chemicals at levels that
impair physiological systems.
Note: Procedures used in Category D studies should not cause prolonged or severe clinical
distress as may be exhibited by a wide range of clinical signs, such as marked abnormalities in
behavioural patterns or attitudes, the absence of grooming, dehydration, abnormal vocalization,
prolonged anorexia, circulatory collapse, extreme lethargy or disinclination to move, and clinical
signs of severe or advanced local or systemic infection, etc.
E. Procedures which cause severe pain near, at, or above the pain tolerance threshold
of unanesthetized conscious animals
This Category of Invasiveness is not necessarily confined to surgical procedures, but may
include exposure to noxious stimuli or agents whose effects are unknown; exposure to drugs or
chemicals at levels that (may) markedly impair physiological systems and which cause death,
severe pain, or extreme distress; completely new biomedical experiments which have a high
degree of invasiveness; behavioural studies about which the effects of the degree of distress are
not known; use of muscle relaxants or paralytic drugs without anesthetics; burn or trauma
infliction on unanesthetized animals; a euthanasia method not approved by the CCAC; any
procedures (e.g., the injection of noxious agents or the induction of severe stress or shock) that
will result in pain which approaches the pain tolerance threshold and cannot be relieved by
analgesia (e.g., when toxicity testing and experimentally-induced infectious disease studies have
death as the endpoint).