How is Research Approved and Monitored?

Nearly all research and teaching involving animals* at UBC and affiliated locations requires the approval of the UBC Animal Care Committee (ACC), including the breeding of animals, pilot projects and unfunded research.

Once a study has received UBC Animal Care Committee approval, our highly qualified animal care staff and independent veterinarians support and monitor the research to ensure it remains compliant with regulations.

Research involving invertebrates, except Cephalopods, no longer requires an approved animal care protocol.

Approval Process for research involving animals at UBC



A UBC researcher submits a new scientific proposal to a funding agency. An independent expert panel reviews the proposal and recommends funding only if the research will make a significant contribution to scientific knowledge.

Funding is denied if the research will not make a significant contribution to scientific knowledge.



UBC’s Animal Care Committee reviews all aspects of the project. If approved, a compliance certificate is issued that expires in four years and must be reviewed annually. 

 A compliance certificate is denied if the research goals can be achieved without animals.



The researcher must pass mandatory training in animal handling protocols to ensure that health precautions will be followed for all research staff and animals. 

The research is disallowed if adequate training is not completed. 



Animal care staff help to refine procedures, train personnel and care for the animals.  An independent veterinarian monitors the study to ensure regulations are obeyed. 

UBC takes disciplinary action and may halt research if regulations are not obeyed. 



The Animal Care Committee reviews the project annually. Every four years, the researcher must submit a new proposal to the Committee to continue the research. 




When a project is completed, research findings and methods are published in scientific journals that can be accessed by the public.

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.

To read more about the approval process for research involving animals at UBC, visit the Animal Care and Use Program Quick-Start Guide.