Western’s Animal Care Committee has been established in compliance with the Ontario Animals for Research Act (1971) and the Terms of Reference for Animal Care Committees established by the Canadian Council on Animal Care (CCAC) and and the Agreement on Administration of Agency Grants and Awards by Research Institutions with CIHR/NSERC and SSHRC, and oversees all matters pertaining to research, funded or not, that involves animals.
The Animal Care Committee (ACC) is responsible for ensuring that all researchers, people and students under their direction who use animals in their work, and the facilities and people who operate these facilities meet the mandatory guidelines of federal (Canadian Council on Animal Care) and provincial (Ontario Animals in Research Act) standards and guidelines. The Committee is mandated through the University Council on Animal Care (UCAC) to safeguard the welfare of animals involved in research and teaching at Western and its affiliated locations, and has been established according to the Terms of Reference for Animal Care Committees established by the Canadian Council on Animal Care (CCAC).
The ACC guides pre-experimental design and experimental phases by rigorously applying the principles of the 3Rs – Replacement, Reduction and Refinement – to research programs using animals. Investigators are mandated to carefully design, and continuously refine, procedures to ensure the correct number of animals are used and, where possible, be replaced by non-animal methods. Western’s ACC also promotes adherence to the ARRIVE guidelines, which promote uniformity in experimental settings and reporting of research involving animals.
Animal research is taken very seriously at Western, and we respect the unique contributions animals make to improving health, understanding and preventing disease, saving lives and helping us understand wildlife populations to better manage them. Our investigators, research staff, veterinarians and animal care technicians are all committed to humane animal care, and the ACC provides critical oversight, expertise and input to support successful research that exceeds expectations of compliance and animal care.