Drugs and Supplies
The Department of ‘Animal Care and Veterinary Services’
maintains and inventory of commonly used veterinary drugs
and supplies. Drugs are only sold in accordance with an
approved "Application to Use Animals in Teaching and
Testing". Restricted drugs are only dispensed in small
amounts. Accurate record keeping and suitable storage
facilities are prerequisites. For information on controlled drugs see the section below.
Items are sold on a cost plus basis and
are charged directly to the investigators account number.
Items may be ordered specifically for an investigator. There
is no additional charge for this service unless immediate
delivery is required. In such instances, shipping and
handling will also be applied.
Controlled Drugs / ACVS Dispensing License
All use of controlled drugs, (such as ketamine, pentobarbital, buprenorphine, etc.), is regulated by Health Canada.
Principal Investigators must apply for a Controlled Substance ‘exemption’ through Health Canada to be able to purchase, hold, and use controlled substances. An approved Animal Use Protocol must be in place to do this.
The required forms can be downloaded from the Health Canada website. The possession of controlled drugs carries specific obligations regarding storage and record keeping. Storage requirements can be found at the Directive on Physical Security Requirements for Controlled Substances. Please download the template of the “Controlled Drug Recording Sheet”.
The expected wait time to receive an approved exemption from Health Canada is up to 8 weeks. All exemptions have an expiry date of one year post-approval, and NO drugs may be purchased after the license is expired - regardless of any ‘un-used’ portion on the exemption.
If you have drug remaining in-stock towards the end of your license and do not plan on purchasing more, an ‘extension’ is required to use and possess said controlled substance. This exemption extension does not allow you to purchase additional drugs – it simply allows you to legally hold and use any controlled substances that you currently have on-hand.
PIs are responsible for renewal of their license; you will not be reminded by Health Canada, AUS, ACVS, or any other licensed vendor of pending expiry. You are encouraged to apply for a consecutive exemption no later than 8 weeks prior to the current exemption’s expiry in order to avoid any interruption in your animal research.
Once you have received an exemption from Health Canada you may purchase the required drugs. Controlled drugs may only be purchased through a licensed vendor. To make it convenient for investigators to purchase controlled substances, Animal Care & Veterinary Services holds a dispensing license with Health Canada.
See 'Controlled Drugs Available from ACVS.' This document lists drugs available through ACVS as well as some of the manufacturers of the most commonly used controlled drugs. Please note that buprenorphine and pentobarbital (anaesthetic solution) are only available from ACVS. For more information regarding controlled drugs dispensed by ACVS please contact
If you decide to use ACVS as your supplier you will need to put the following information for the application:
Name of Director
Animal Care and Veterinary Services
510D Medical Sciences Building
University of Western Ontario
519-661-2111 ext. 86768
Health Canada takes its regulations very seriously and may lay criminal charges and/or impose fines for inadequate compliance.
Please see Health Canada's Compliance and Enforcement Policy (POL-0001) for more information.