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See 2018 data

In 2018, a total of 169,273 animals were involved in 675 research and teaching protocols at UBC.

Rodents account for 57 per cent of the total number of all animals involved in research at UBC last year, and 96 per cent of the mammals. Other small mammals, large mammals and marine mammals collectively represented two per cent of the total .

Other animals involved in research were fish (21 per cent) birds (2 per cent) and reptiles and amphibians (18 per cent).

By animal type

Animal Type Number Percentage
Rodents 96,499 57.0%
Fish 35,634 21.1%
Reptiles/Amphibians 30,457 18.0%
Birds 3,272 1.9%
Small Mammals 1,692 1.0%
Large Mammals 1,553 0.9%
Marine Mammals 166 0.1%
Total 169,273  

 

2018 - animals by type

How were the animals involved in research?

The Canadian Council on Animal Care divides animal research into five Categories of Invasiveness (A to E). Category A includes most experiments involving tissue cultures, eggs and single-cell organisms and does not require annual reporting.

More than 43 per cent of animals involved in research at UBC in 2018 fall under categories B or C. The invasiveness ranges from little discomfort and stress to minor stress and pain. For a wide range of animals this could include observation in the wild, brief periods of restraint for tagging, taking blood samples and minor surgical biopsies under anesthesia.

In Category D studies, rated for moderate to severe distress or discomfort, there was a 21 per cent increase from 2017, in large part due to protocols involving salmon.

No animals were involved in category E studies representing severe pain, at, or above the pain tolerance of unanesthetized conscious animals.

Category Number  Percentage
B 28,300 16.7%
C 45,750 27.0%
D 95,223 56.3%
E 0 0%
Total 169,273  

animals by invasiveness 2018

By purpose of use

The Canadian Council on Animal Care (CCAC) divides the purposes for which we involve animals into six categories.

Purpose 0: Breeding - The number of animals in research involving breeding was 7,508 in 2018, compared to 10,956 in 2017. 

Purpose 1: Basic Research - 57.5 per cent per cent of animals were part of UBC’s inquiries in science disciplines that include biology, psychology, physiology and biochemistry. The number of Basic Research animals decreased by 0.7 per cent to 97,306, compared to 97,986 in 2017.

Purpose 2: Medical and Veterinary Research - This use of animals provides treatments for diseases that improve health care outcomes for both humans and animals. In 2018 there was an 8 per cent increase in the number of animals used in this category compared to 2017. (58,678 in 2018, compared to 54,394 in 2017).

Purposes 3 and 4: Regulatory Testing - Canadian law dictates that animals be research models before humans in regulatory trials for drugs and general medical products. That requirement includes vaccines and medical hardware such as stents and heart valves. UBC makes every effort to minimize the number animals used for regulatory testing. In 2018, 1.7 per cent of animals were involved in this area at UBC. 

Purpose 5: Educational Purposes - Educational use of research animals includes several fields of study at UBC. All animal use in teaching at UBC must be approved by individual faculties and the University Senate. Where possible, vertebrate animals are replaced by invertebrates. Approximately 1.7 per cent of animals involved in UBC research were used for educational purposes in 2018.

Purpose Of Use Number Percentage
0 7,508 4.4%
1 97,306 57.5%
2 58,678 34.7%
3,4 2,843 1.7%
5 2,938 1.7%
Total 169,273  

animals by purpose of use 2018

See 2017 data

In 2017, a total of 171,169 animals were involved in 502 research and teaching protocols at UBC.

Birds, small mammals, large mammals and marine mammals each represent less than two per cent of total animals involved in research at UBC last year.

More than 96 per cent of the mammals involved in research were rodents (56.9 per cent of the total number of animals). Other animals involved in research were fish (26 per cent) and reptiles (13.1 per cent).

All 2017 data

By animal type

Animal Type Number Percentage
Rodents 97,458 56.9%
Fish 44,506 26.0%
Reptiles/Amphibians 22,475 13.1%
Birds 2,971 1.7%

Small Mammals

1,179 0.7%
Large Mammals 2,546 1.5%
Marine Mammals 34 0.02%
Total 171,169  

How were the animals involved in research?

The Canadian Council on Animal Care divides animal research into five Categories of Invasiveness (A to E). Category A includes most experiments involving tissue cultures, eggs and single-cell organisms and does not require annual reporting.

More than 54 per cent of animals involved in research at UBC in 2017 fall under categories B or C. The invasiveness ranges from little discomfort and stress to minor stress and pain. For a wide range of animals this could include observation in the wild, brief periods of restraint for tagging, taking blood samples and minor surgical biopsies under anesthesia.

In Category D studies, rated for moderate to severe distress or discomfort, there was a 1.3 per cent increase from 2016, a less than proportional rise in the overall number of animals involved.

No animals were involved in category E studies representing severe pain, at, or above the pain tolerance of unanesthetized conscious animals.

Category Number  Percentage
B 31,181 18.21%
C 61,444 35.89%
D 78,544 45.88%
E 0 0%
Total 171,169  

By purpose of use

The Canadian Council on Animal Care (CCAC) divides the purposes for which we involve animals into six categories.

Purpose 0: Breeding - The number of animals in research involving breeding was 10,956 in 2017, compared to 3,192 in 2016.

Purpose 1: Basic Research - 59 per cent per cent of animals were part of UBC’s inquiries in science disciplines that include biology, psychology, physiology and biochemistry. The number of Basic Research animals decreased by 0.6 per cent to 97,986, compared to 98,553 in 2016.

Purpose 2: Medical and Veterinary Research - This use of animals provides treatments for diseases that improve health care outcomes for both humans and animals. In 2017 there was an 7.2 per cent decrease in the number of animals used in this category compared to 2016. (54,394 in 2017, vs. 58,613 in 2016.)

Purposes 3 and 4: Regulatory Testing - Canadian law dictates that animals be research models before humans in regulatory trials for drugs and general medical products. That requirement includes vaccines and medical hardware such as stents and heart valves. UBC makes every effort to minimize the number animals used for regulatory testing. In 2017, 1.9 per cent of animals were involved in this area at UBC.

Purpose 5: Educational Purposes - Educational use of research animals includes several fields of study at UBC. All animal use in teaching at UBC must be approved by individual faculties and the University Senate. Where possible, vertebrate animals are replaced by invertebrates. Approximately 2.6 per cent of animals involved in UBC research were used for educational purposes in 2016.

Purpose Of Use Number Percentage
0 10,956 6.4%
1 97,986 57.2%
2 54,394 31.8%
3,4 3,307 1.9%
5 4,526 2.6%
Total 171,169  

See 2016 data

In 2016, 167,019 animals were involved in 486 research and teaching protocols at UBC.

That’s a decrease of 10 per cent since 2015 when 185,692 animals were involved in 517 research and teaching protocols.

More than 92 per cent of animals involved in UBC research were rodents, reptiles and amphibians.

The number of animals in most species groups decreased from 2015 with the exceptions of rodents, birds and large mammals.

The number of large mammals involved in research increased to 10,385 in 2016 compared with 2,956 in 2015. The vast majority of large mammals involved in research last year were 10,000 cows under non-invasive observation in protocols aimed at improving the health of dairy herds.

The majority (60 per cent) of animals in research at UBC remains rodents, but that number also fell to 100,888 in 2016 (the second lowest total since reporting began), from 113,894 in 2014 as researchers continue to shift to animals at a lower evolutionary level, such as fish.

The number of animals in research involving breeding was 3,192 in 2016, compared with 493 in 2015. Under the category of breeding, we are now more accurately recording only those animals where breeding is the research project.

More than 53 per cent of the animals (89,449) were involved in procedures that cause less than minor or short-term stress (CCAC Categories of Invasiveness B and C). These include observations of animal behaviors, blood sampling, tagging and tracking of wild animals.

In Category D (moderate to severe distress), there was a decrease of 4.3 per cent in the number of animals in 2016 compared with 2015.

By Animal Type

Animal Type Number Percentage
Rodents

100,888

60.4%
Fish

29,940

17.9%
Reptiles & Amphibians 23,004 13.8%
Birds

2,377

1.4%
Small Mammals 332 0.2%
Large Mammals 10,385 6.2%
Marine Mammals 93 0.05%

Grand Total

167,019

 

 

How were the animals involved in research?

The Canadian Council on Animal Care divides animal research into five Categories of Invasiveness (A to E). Category A includes most experiments involving tissue cultures, eggs and single-cell organisms and does not require annual reporting.

Across each of the categories B,C and D, the number of animals experiencing invasive research procedures in 2016 was down compared to 2015, by a combined total of 18,673.

More than 53 per cent of animals involved in research at UBC in 2016 fall under categories B or C. The invasiveness ranges from little discomfort and stress to minor stress and pain. For a wide range of animals this could include observation in the wild, brief periods of restraint for tagging, taking blood samples and minor surgical biopsies under anesthesia.

In Category D studies, rated for moderate to severe distress or discomfort, there was a 4.3 per cent decrease from 2015.

No animals were involved in category E studies representing severe pain, at, or above the pain tolerance of unanesthetized conscious animals.

By category of invasiveness

Category

Number

Percentage

B

50,950

30.50%
C

38,499

23.05%
D

77,570

46.44%
E 0 0%
Grand total 167,019  

 

Why are animals involved in research at UBC?

The Canadian Council on Animal Care (CCAC) divides the purposes for which we involve animals into six categories.

Purpose 0: Breeding — The number of animals in research involving breeding was 3,192 in 2016, compared to 493 in 2015. The breeding category only counts animals where breeding is the research project.

Purpose 1: Basic Research — 59 per cent per cent of animals were part of UBC’s inquiries in science disciplines that include biology, psychology, physiology and biochemistry. The number of Basic Research animals decreased by 18.9 per cent to 98,553, compared to 121,446 in 2015.

Purpose 2: Medical and Veterinary Research — This use of animals provides treatments for diseases that improve health care outcomes for both humans and animals. In 2016 there was an 3.1 per cent decrease in the number of animals used in this category compared to 2015. (58,613 in 2016, vs. 60,509 in 2015.)

Purposes 3 and 4: Regulatory Testing — Canadian law dictates that animals be research models before humans in regulatory trials for drugs and general medical products. That requirement includes vaccines and medical hardware such as stents and heart valves. UBC makes every effort to minimize the number animals used for regulatory testing. In 2016, 0.2.6 per cent of animals were involved in this area at UBC.

Purpose 5: Educational Purposes — Educational use of research animals includes several fields of study at UBC. All animal use in teaching at UBC must be approved by individual faculties and the University Senate. Where possible, vertebrate animals are replaced by invertebrates. Approximately 1.3 per cent of animals involved in UBC research were used for educational purposes in 2016.

By Purpose of Use

Purpose of Use

Number

Percentage

0

3,192

1.9%
1 98,553 59.0%
2

58,613

35.1%
3,4 4,418 2.6%
5 2,243 1.3%

Total

167,019

 

 

See 2015 data

In 2015, a total of 185,692 animals were involved in 517 research and teaching protocols at UBC.
Birds, non-rodent mammals and marine mammals each represent less than two per cent of total animals involved in research at UBC last year.

More than 95 per cent of the mammals involved in research were rodents (53.63 per cent of the grand total). Other animals involved in research were fish (30.1 per cent) and reptiles and amphibians (12.9 per cent).

By Animal Type

Animal Type

Number

Percentage

Rodents

99,597

53.63%
Fish

55,906

30.1%

Reptiles & Amphibians 23,969 12.9%
Birds 1,620 0.87%
Small Mammals 1,341 0.72%
Large Mammals 2,956 1.59%
Marine Mammals 303 0.16%

Grand Total

185,692

 

 

How were the animals involved in research?

The Canadian Council on Animal Care divides animal research into five Categories of Invasiveness (A to E). Category A includes most experiments involving tissue cultures, eggs and single-cell organisms and does not require annual reporting.

Across two of the four categories the number of animals experiencing invasive research procedures in 2015 was down by 2,799, compared to 2014.

More than 56 per cent of animals involved in research at UBC in 2014 fall under Category B and C. The invasiveness ranges from little discomfort and stress to minor stress and pain. For a wide range of animals this could include observation in the wild, brief periods of restraint for tagging, taking blood samples and minor surgical biopsies under anesthesia.

In Category D studies, rated for moderate to severe distress or discomfort, there was a 2.1 per cent increase over 2014.
No animals were involved in category E studies representing severe pain, at, or above the pain tolerance of unanesthetized conscious animals.

By category of invasiveness

Category

Number

Percentage

B

55,214

29.73%
C

49,398

26.60%
D 81,080 43.66%
E 0 0%
Grand total

185,692

 

 

Why are animals involved in research at UBC?

The Canadian Council on Animal Care (CCAC) divides the purposes for which we involve animals into six categories.

Purpose 0: Breeding - The number of animals in research involving breeding was 493 in 2015, compared to 20,783 in 2014. Under breeding we are now more accurately counting those animals where breeding is the research project. Many of the animals previously recorded here are now distributed across other categories such as basic research.

Purpose 1: Basic Research - More than 65 per cent per cent of animals were part of UBC’s inquiries in science disciplines that include biology, psychology, physiology and biochemistry. The number of Basic Research animals increased by 16.5 per cent to 121,446, compared to 104,199 in 2014.

Purpose 2: Medical and Veterinary Research - This use of animals provides treatments for diseases that improve health care outcomes for both humans and animals. In 2015 there was an 11 per cent increase in the number of animals used in this category compared to 2014.

Purposes 3 and 4: Regulatory Testing - Canadian law dictates that animals be research models before humans in regulatory trials for drugs and general medical products. That requirement includes vaccines and medical hardware such as stents and heart valves. UBC makes every effort to minimize the number animals used for regulatory testing. In 2015, 0.75 per cent of animals were involved in this area at UBC.

Purpose 5: Educational Purposes - Educational use of research animals includes several fields of study at UBC. All animal use in teaching at UBC must be approved by individual faculties and the University Senate. Where possible, vertebrate animals are replaced by invertebrates. Approximately one per cent of animals involved in UBC research were used for educational purposes (0.99%) in 2015.

By Purpose of Use

Purpose of Use

Number

Percentage

0

493

0.3%

1

121,446 65.4%
2

60,509

32.6%
3,4

1,391

0.7%
5 1.853 1%

Total

185,692

 

 

See 2014 data

In 2014, a total of 182,115 animals were involved in 869 research and teaching protocols at UBC.
Birds, non-rodent mammals and marine mammals each represent less than one per cent of total animals involved in research at UBC last year.

More than 97 per cent of the mammals involved in research were rodents (62.53 per cent of the grand total). Other animals involved in research were fish (21.51 per cent) and reptiles and amphibians (13.17 per cent).

By Animal Type

Animal Type

Number

Percentage

Rodents

113,894

62.53%
Fish 39,183 21.51%
Reptiles & Amphibians 23,991 13.17%
Birds 1,155 0.63%
Small Mammals 1,371 0.75%
Large Mammals

1,138

0.62%
Marine Mammals 1,383 0.75%

Grand Total

182,115

 

How were the animals involved in research?

The Canadian Council on Animal Care divides animal research into five Categories of Invasiveness (A to E). Category A includes most experiments involving tissue cultures, eggs and single-cell organisms and does not require annual reporting.

Across three of the four categories the number of animals experiencing invasive research procedures in 2014 was down by more than 37,300, compared to 2013.

More than 56 per cent of animals involved in research at UBC in 2014 fall under Category B and C. The invasiveness ranges from little discomfort and stress to minor stress and pain. For a wide range of animals this could include observation in the wild, brief periods of restraint for tagging, taking blood samples and minor surgical biopsies under anaesthesia.

In Category D studies, rated for moderate to severe distress or discomfort, there was a 3.8 per cent increase over 2013.

By category of invasiveness

Category

Number

Percentage

A 0 0
B 57,986 31.84%
C

44,711

24.55%
D 79,391 43.59%
E 27 0.15%
Grand total

182,115

 

Why are animals involved in research at UBC?

The Canadian Council on Animal Care (CCAC) divides the purposes for which we involve animals into six categories

Purpose 0: Breeding

The percentage of research animals held in breeding colonies was 20,783 in 2014, a decline of 43.42 per cent over 2013.

Purpose 1: Basic Research

More than 57 per cent per cent of animals were part of UBC’s inquiries in science disciplines that include biology, psychology, physiology and biochemistry. The number of Basic Research animals used was down by more than 21,000 in 2014, a drop of 16.86 per cent from 2013.

Purpose 2: Medical and Veterinary Research

This use of animals provides treatments for diseases that improve health care outcomes for both humans and animals. In 2014 there was an eight per cent increase in the number of animals used in this category compared to 2013.

Purposes 3 and 4: Regulatory Testing

Canadian law dictates that animals be research models before humans in regulatory trials for drugs and general medical products. That requirement includes vaccines and medical hardware such as stents and heart valves. UBC makes every effort to minimize the number animals used for regulatory testing. In 2014, 321 fewer animals were used than 2013, a decline of 24.45%.

Purpose 5: Educational Purposes

Educational use of research animals includes several fields of study at UBC. All animal use in teaching at UBC must be approved by individual faculties and the University Senate. Where possible, vertebrate animals are replaced by invertebrates. Less than one per cent of animals involved in UBC research were used for educational purposes (0.89%).

By Purpose of Use

Purpose of Use

Number

Percentage

0

20,783

11.41%
1 104,199 57.21%
2 54,513 29.93%
3,4 992 0.54%
5

1,628

0.89%

Grand Total

182,115

 

 

See 2013 data

In 2013, a total of 216,450 animals were involved in 911 research and teaching protocols at UBC.

Birds, mammals and marine mammals each represent less than one per cent of total animals involved in research at UBC last year.

More than 97 per cent of the mammals involved in research were rodents (58.35 per cent of the grand total). Other animals involved in research were fish (28.55 per cent) and reptiles and amphibians (10.95 per cent).

By Animal Type

Animal Type

Number

Percentage

Rodents

126,290

58.35%
Fish

61,792

28.55%
Reptiles & Amphibians 23,691 10.95%
Birds 1,358 0.63%
Small Mammals

1,181

0.55%
Large Mammals

1,778

0.82%
Marine Mammals

360

0.17%

Grand Total

227,362

 

 

How were the animals involved in research?

The Canadian Council on Animal Care divides animal research into five Categories of Invasiveness (A to E). Category A includes most experiments involving tissue cultures, eggs and single-cell organisms and does not require annual reporting.

Across three of the four categories the number of animals experiencing invasive research procedures in 2013 was down by more than 12,000 compared to 2012.

More than two-thirds of animals involved in research at UBC in 2013 fall under Category B and C. The invasiveness ranges from little discomfort and stress to minor stress and pain. For a wide range of animals this could include observation in the wild, brief periods of restraint for tagging, taking blood samples and minor surgical biopsies under anesthesia.

In Category D studies, rated for moderate to severe distress or discomfort, there was a 2.55 per cent increase over 2012.

By category of invasiveness

Category

Number

Percentage

A 0 0
B

92,913

42.93%
C 46,978 21.70%
D 76,496 35.34%
E 63 0.03%
Grand total 216,450  

 

For what purposes are animals involved in research at UBC?

The Canadian Council on Animal Care (CCAC) divides the purposes for which we involve animals into six categories.

Purpose 0: Breeding

The percentage of research animals held in breeding colonies was 36,728 in 2013, a rise of 16.24 per cent over 2012.

Purpose 1: Basic Research

Close to 60 per cent of animals were part of UBC’s inquiries in science disciplines that include biology, psychology, physiology and biochemistry.

The number of Basic Research animals used was down by nearly 12,000 in 2013, a drop of 8.69 per cent from the 2012 numbers.

Purpose 2: Medical and Veterinary Research

This use of animals provides treatments for diseases that improve health care outcomes for both humans and animals. In 2013 there was a 7.8 per cent drop in the number of animals used in this category in 2012.

Purposes 3 and 4: Regulatory Testing

Canadian law dictates that animals be research models before humans in regulatory trials for drugs and general medical products. That requirement includes vaccines and medical hardware such as stents and heart valves. UBC makes every effort to minimize the number animals used for regulatory testing. In 2013, 336 fewer animals were used than 2012.

Purpose 5: Educational Purposes

Educational use of research animals includes several fields of study at UBC. All animal use in teaching at UBC must be approved by individual faculties and the University Senate. Where possible, vertebrate animals are replaced by invertebrates. Just over one per cent of animals involved in UBC research were used for educational purposes.

By Purpose of Use

Purpose of Use

Number

Percentage

0

36,728

16.97%
1 125,318 57.90%
2

50,472

23.32%
3,4

1,313

0.61%
5 2,619 1.21%

Grand Total

216,450

 

 

See 2012 data

In 2012, a total of 227,362 animals were involved in 961 research and teaching protocols at UBC.

Birds, mammals and marine mammals each represent less than one per cent of total animals Involved in research at UBC last year.

More than 98 per cent of the animals involved in research were rodents (58 per cent), fish (30 per cent) and reptiles and amphibians (10 per cent).

By Animal Type

Animal Type

Number

Percentage

Rodents

132,815
 

58.42%
Fish 67,534 29.55%
Reptiles & Amphibians

22,975

10.08%
Birds 1,783 0.78%
Small Mammals 996 0.44%
Large Mammals 908 0.40%
Marine Mammals 351 0.15%

Grand Total

227,362

 

 

How were the animals involved in research?

The Canadian Council on Animal Care divides animal research into five Categories of Invasiveness (A to E). Category A includes most experiments involving tissue cultures, eggs and single-cell organisms and does not require annual reporting.

More than two-thirds of animals involved in research at UBC in 2012 fall under Category B and C, which cause less than minor or short-term stress. This includes vast numbers of animals (including those in the wild) that are tagged for tracking and observation – such as seals, sea lions and salmon – in observational and conservation studies.

Less than 33 per cent of animals were involved in Category D studies, which are thought to cause moderate to severe distress or discomfort, a four-per-cent decrease from 2011.

There was an increase of 26 animals in Category E studies. This was due to a new investigation into fetal alcohol syndrome involving rats.

By category of invasiveness

Category

Number

Percentage

A n/a n/a
B 101,336 44.57%
C

51,385

22.60%

D 74,556 32.79%
E 85 0.04%

Grand Total

227,362

 

 

For what purposes are animals involved in research at UBC?

The Canadian Council on Animal Care (CCAC) divides the purposes for which we involve animals into 6 categories.

Purpose 0: Animals held in breeding colonies.

Purpose 1: Just over 60 per cent of animals involved in UBC research were part of basic scientific investigations, including biology, psychology, physiology and biochemistry. These studies help scientists advance knowledge about wild animals, about human and animal health, and about the world we live in.

Purpose 2: 24 per cent of the animals are involved in medical studies in order to enhance human and animal health and to provide insight into the causes and potential treatments for human or animal diseases and disorders.

Purposes 3 and 4: Under Canadian law, all potential drugs, medical products and appliances – including vaccines for both humans and animals, stents, heart valves for humans and bionic parts for pets – must first be tested on animals before clinical trials are allowed. Every effort is made to ensure that we involve the minimum number of animals required in order to obtain scientifically valid data. This represented 0.73 per cent of animals involved in UBC research in 2012.

Purpose 5: A small percentage of advanced courses need animals to teach students the manual techniques and skills of their profession, and to illustrate basic and advanced scientific concepts in complex organisms. Where possible, vertebrate animals are replaced by invertebrates, videos and computer models. Educational programs involving animals at UBC must be approved by the faculty concerned and the University Senate; they are subject to the same level of rigorous CCAC and UBC oversight as research projects. Less than one percent of animals involved in research at UBC were used for educational purposes.

By Purpose of Use

Purpose of Use

Number

Percentage

0 31,596 13.90%
1 137,247 60.36%
2 54,754 24.08%
3,4 1,649 0.73%
5 2,116

0.93%

Grand Total

227,362

 

 

See 2011 data

In 2011, a total of 225,043 animals were involved in 983 research protocols at UBC, up from 211,604 in 2010. This is largely due an increase in new strains of transgenic rodents bred for medical research.

Excluding the 15,000 rats and mice bred for research, the use of animals in research at UBC has decreased overall.

Nearly 97 per cent of the animals used were rodents (62 per cent), fish (25 per cent) and reptiles and amphibians (10 per cent).

Birds represent 2.1 per cent of all animals used in 2011, all of which were in studies that involve banding, observational (wild birds) and breeding (food production fowls) studies.

Mammals and marine mammals make up 1.5 per cent of animals involved in research at UBC.

By Animal Type

Animal Type

Number

Percentage

Rats & Mice 138,812 61.68%

Fish

54,971 24.42%
Reptiles & Amphibians 23,128 10.28%
Birds 4,719 2.10%
Small Mammals 1,047 0.47%
Large Mammals 800 0.36%
Marine Mammals 1,566 0.79%

Grand Total

225,043

 

 

How were the animals involved in research?

The Canadian Council on Animal Care divides animal research into five Categories of Invasiveness (A to E). Category A includes most experiments involving tissue cultures, eggs and single-cell organisms and does not require annual reporting.

Nearly 63 per cent of animals involved in research at UBC in 2011 fall under Category B and C, which cause less than minor or short-term stress. This includes vast numbers of animals (including those in the wild) that are tagged for tracking and observation – such as seals, sea lions and salmon – in conservation studies.

Thirty-seven per cent of animals were involved in Category D studies, which are thought to cause moderate to severe distress or discomfort. Less than one per cent, or 59 animals, was involved in a Category E study, which required surgical procedure performed under anesthesia. Around-the-clock veterinary care was provided during recovery.

By category of invasiveness

Category

Number

Percentage

A n/a n/a
B 97,453 43.32%
C 43,731 19.44%
D 83,800 37.25%

E

59 0.03%

Grand Total

225,043

 

 

For what purposes are animals involved in research at UBC?

The Canadian Council on Animal Care (CCAC) divides the purposes for which we involve animals into 6 categories.

Purpose 0: 15,000 mice, representing new transgenic strains, were bred at UBC in 2011. This accounted for most of the increases in the total number of animals.

Purpose 1: 56 per cent of the animals were part of basic scientific investigations, including biology, psychology, physiology and biochemistry. These studies help scientists advance knowledge about wild animals, about human and animal health, and about the world we live in.

Purpose 2: 25 per cent of the animals are involved in medical studies, in order to enhance human and animal health, and to provide insight into the causes and potential treatments for human or animal diseases and disorders.

Purposes 3 and 4: Under Canadian law, all potential drugs, medical products and appliances – including vaccines for both humans and animals, stents, heart valves for humans and bionic parts for pets – must first be tested on animals before clinical trials are allowed. Every effort is made to ensure that we involve the minimum number of animals required in order to obtain scientifically valid data. 1.7 per cent of animals involved in research at UBC were part of this kind of study.

Purpose 5: A small percentage of advanced courses need animals to teach students the manual techniques and skills of their profession, and to illustrate basic and advanced scientific concepts in complex organisms. Where possible, vertebrate animals are replaced by invertebrates, videos and computer models. Educational programs involving animals at UBC must be approved by the faculty concerned and the University Senate; they are subject to the same level of rigorous CCAC and UBC oversight as research projects. Less than one percent of animals involved in research at UBC were used for educational purposes – a 25 per cent decrease from 2010.

By Purpose of Use

Purpose of Use

Number

Percentage

0 36,314 16.13%
1 126,644 56.27%
2 56,140 24.95%
3,4 3,788 1.68%
5 2,157 0.96%

Grand Total

225,043

 

 

See 2010 data

In 2010, a total of 211,604 animals were involved in scientific research at UBC. This represents roughly six per cent of total animals involved in research in Canada (3.375 million according to the Canadian Council for Animal Care.)

In context, UBC ranks consistently amongst the top three recipients of federal research funding in the country.

97 per cent of the animals used were rodents (56 per cent), fish (35 per cent) and reptiles and amphibians (6 per cent).

Birds represent 1.25 per cent of all animals used in 2010, all of which were in studies causing minor, short term or no distress or discomfort (Category B and C).

Mammals other than rodents make up fewer than two per cent of animals used.

By Animal Type

Animal Type

Number

Percentage

Rats & Mice

118,184

55.81

Fish 74,315 35.12
Reptiles & Amphibians 12,368 5.84
Birds 2,653 1.25
Small Mammals 1,863 0.88
Large Mammals 1,570 0.74
Marine Mammals

651

0.31

Grand Total

211,604

 

 

How were these numbers compiled?

The numbers and types of animals involved in research at UBC in 2010 were calculated from a total of 982 animal care research protocols approved by the UBC Animal Care Committee for that year. Each research protocol tracks the number and type of animals involved in the study, whether it is a catch-and-release study in the field, an observational study, or a laboratory study.

Every UBC study involving animals is required to pass a detailed ethical review that verifies the study will use humane and appropriate research methodologies, that it will address questions which can only be answered through research with animals, and that it will involve as few animals as possible while generating valid scientific data.

Only when a study proposal passes this vigorous ethical review process – adjudicated by a panel of experts and members of the public – does UBC issue an animal care protocol.

How were the animals involved in research?

The Canadian Council on Animal Care divides animal research into five Categories of Invasiveness (A to E). Category A includes most experiments involving tissue cultures, eggs and single-cell organisms and does not require annual reporting.

More than two-thirds (68 per cent) of animals involved in research at UBC fall under Category B and C, which cause less than minor or short-term stress. This includes vast numbers of animals (including those in the wild) that are tagged for tracking and observation – such as whales, dolphins, turtles, salmon and seahorses – in conservation studies.

Animals used in Category D studies, which are thought to cause moderate to severe distress or discomfort, make up just under one-third of total animals. The vast majority are mice, rats, toads, and fish. In all studies, proper anesthesia was administered.

Approximately 0.01 per cent, or 31 animals, were involved in Category E studies, all of which were performed in surgical settings. Proper pain control and anesthesia were administered during and after all procedures, as with humans undergoing surgery.

By category of invasiveness

Category

Number

Percentage

B 96,753 45.72
C

46,617

22.03
D 68,203 32.21
E 31 0.0147

Grand Total

211,604

 

For what purposes are animals involved in research at UBC?

The Canadian Council on Animal Care (CCAC) divides the purposes for which we involve animals into 6 categories.

Purpose 1: Of the 211,604 animals involved in scientific research at UBC in 2010, approximately two-thirds (64.9 per cent) took part in basic science projects, including biology, psychology, physiology and biochemistry. These studies help scientists advance knowledge about wild animals, about human and animal health, and about the world we live in.

Purpose 2: Approximately 27 per cent of the animals are involved in medical studies, in order to enhance human and animal health, and to provide insight into the causes and potential treatments for human or animal diseases and disorders.

Purposes 3 and 4: Under Canadian law, all potential drugs, medical products and appliances – including vaccines for both humans and animals, stents, heart valves for humans and bionic parts for pets – must first be tested on animals before clinical trials are allowed. Every effort is made to ensure that we involve the minimum number of animals required in order to obtain scientifically valid data. Approximately one per cent of animals involved in research at UBC were part of this kind of study.

Purpose 5: A small percentage of advanced courses need animals to teach students the manual techniques and skills of their profession, and to illustrate basic and advanced scientific concepts in complex organisms. Where possible, vertebrate animals are replaced by invertebrates, videos and computer models. Educational programs involving animals at UBC must be approved by the faculty concerned and the University Senate; they are subject to the same level of rigorous CCAC and UBC oversight as research projects. Just over one percent of animals involved in research at UBC were used for educational purposes.

Purpose 0: This category covers animals, mostly rats and mice, that are bred with research-specific genetic characteristics. In 2010, those animals represented slightly over five per cent of the total.

Purpose of Use

Number

Percentage

0 11,478 5.4
1 137,405 64.9
2 57,274 27.1
3,4

2,542

1.2
5

2,905

1.4

Grand Total

211,604