Animal research at UBC is overseen at multiple levels.
In order to receive funding from granting agencies, such as the Tri-Agency in Canada (NSERC/CIHR/SSHRC) projects are reviewed in a competitive environment by a panel of experts to determine the scientific merit of the proposed project and its methodology.
UBC Animal Care Committee
The UBC Animal Care Committee (ACC) is mandated to safeguard the welfare of animals involved in research and teaching at UBC and at all affiliated locations. The Committee is responsible for ensuring that all UBC animal researchers conform to the mandatory guidelines of the Canadian Council on Animal Care.
The ACC, reports to the Vice-President, Research & Innovation Office, and its membership includes representatives from the general public and from a number of UBC departments that may or may not involve animals in research.
Canadian Council on Animal Care (CCAC)
The CCAC is the national body responsible for setting, maintaining and overseeing the implementation of high standards for animal ethics and care in science throughout Canada. All users on animals must complete CCAC training, and the CCAC monitors and inspects UBC animal care facilities on a regular ongoing basis.
Once approved by the ACC, research protocols are subject to annual reviews by the ACC, as well as routine audits through the post-approval monitoring program. A Continuing Review team which includes a full-time veterinarian is assigned to monitor and continuously review the progress of research protocols and care of animals, as part of UBC’s post-approval monitoring program.
UBC veterinary staff regularly visits all UBC animal research facilities to observe and advise on animal research conduct, advise on administering anesthetics and analgesics (painkillers) and are available for animal care including 24-seven emergency services.
Six veterinarians are involved in the care of UBC animals
Animal welfare laws
UBC must comply with provincial and federal Cruelty to Animals legislation and may be investigated by the relevant enforcement agencies.
It is the responsibility of everyone working with animals at UBC to ensure adherence to approved animal care protocols. In addition to regular veterinarian visits and external audits, UBC has a “whistleblower” process for identifying non-standard animal care practices. Anyone witnessing questionable animal use conduct may report anonymously to the UBC Director of Animal Care who will personally investigate the matter. Individuals may also report concerns to any UBC veterinarian or to the Animal Care Committee.
University discipline options include immediate closure of a research facility.