Policy 52: Ethics Review of Research Involving Animals
|Senate Policy Number:
|Policy Approval Date:||May 30, 2023|
|Previous Policy Approval Date:||May 1, 2018|
|Implementation Date:||Spring/Summer 2023|
|Next Review Date:||2028|
|Responsible Office:||Vice-President, Research and Innovation|
The purpose of this Policy is to ensure that the use of Animals in the course of Scholarly, Research and Creative (SRC) Activities and/or for any teaching activities is undertaken by members of the Toronto Metropolitan University (TMU) community in a responsible manner that adheres to the requirements of the Canadian Council on Animal Care (CCAC) and its guidelines for the humane and ethical treatment and care of Animals in this context.
This Policy applies to all members of the TMU community (faculty, staff including postdoctoral fellows, and graduate and undergraduate students) using Animals that fall under CCAC guidelines in the course of SRC and/or any teaching activities under the auspices of the University. This includes students conducting SRC Activities with Animals as part of any course-based work, including classroom and/or lab assignments and activities.
This Policy does not apply to Animals brought onto TMU premises used for non-SRC or academic purposes, such as pets or service animals, approved in accordance with relevant University policies.
In this policy:
3.1. "Animal" means vertebrates (amphibians, birds, mammals, fish, reptiles) and other creatures (cephalopods) as specified in the CCAC guidelines, but otherwise does not apply to invertebrates (e.g., insects).
3.2. "ACC" means the TMU Animal Care Committee.
3.3. "Pl" means the principal investigator who has primary responsibility and oversight of a SRC project.
3.4. “Three Rs”, as outlined by the CCAC guidelines, means “Replacement, Reduction and Refinement” in which an individual must consider whether Animals are absolutely required or whether suitable replacements can be used instead.
3.5. “SRC Activity” means funded and non-funded creative, scholarly, and/or knowledge-generating activities, whether fundamental or applied, whose primary objective is discovery, problem-solving, or to achieve some desired result that can be specified to a significant extent but that cannot be produced with existing knowledge. SRC Activity is undertaken in the course of an individual’s role at the University, and is made, discovered or developed using the University facilities, support personnel, support services, equipment, materials or funds, or otherwise under the auspices of the University.
4.1. The University is committed to ensuring that the highest standards of humane and ethical treatment and care of Animals are valued and assured in all Animal-based SRC and teaching activities conducted by members of the TMU community. All relevant TMU stakeholders (faculty, staff including postdoctoral fellows, and graduate and undergraduate students) are required to maintain standards of integrity in all SRC and teaching activities that involve the use of Animals.
4.2. The use of Animals in SRC and/or any teaching activities is acceptable only if it promises to contribute to the understanding of fundamental biological principles, or to the development of knowledge that can reasonably be expected to benefit humans or Animals.
4.3. The University is committed to the CCAC’s ethical decision-making framework and to the tenets of the Three Rs (Replacement, Reduction and Refinement). As such, members of the TMU community are encouraged and expected to seek alternatives and/or minimize the use of Animals in line with this commitment. Where this is not possible, the Animals must be housed. fed, and treated humanely and ethically in accordance with current CCAC guidelines.
5.1. All SRC and/or any teaching activities involving Animals conducted under the auspices of the University must comply with current CCAC guidelines, procedures, and other CCAC recognized standards to ensure that the University remains in good standing and adherence with its CCAC Certificate of GAP – Good Animal Practice®
5.2. The University will establish and maintain an ACC which shall have the responsibility to approve, reject, propose modifications to, or terminate any proposed or ongoing SRC, and/or any teaching activities involving Animals that is conducted by the University or by its faculty, staff including postdoctoral fellows, and graduate and undergraduate students, so as to protect the Animals and to ensure that the SRC Activity is conducted in a humane and ethical manner.
5.3. Members of the ACC are appointed by the Vice-President, Research and Innovation. The ACC shall be constituted and perform its duties in accordance with the terms and guidelines, as set out by the CCAC.
5.4. The ACC must operate in an impartial manner, without interference, when conducting ethical reviews of SRC Activity that involves the use of Animals. The decisions of the ACC with respect to any given activity, as defined above, are not subject to review by the Vice-President, Research and Innovation or any other person except to the extent that such decisions may be appealed pursuant to this Policy.
5.5. The ACC has the authority to order the immediate stoppage of any use of Animals that deviates from the approved protocol or is deemed to be in non-compliance with relevant legislation, regulations or University policies and procedures.
5.6. Any SRC and teaching activities using Animals covered by CCAC guidelines shall not be conducted by any member of the University unless the activity has been approved in advance through the ACC. This includes projects carried out in the field or in a facility not owned by TMU, or in collaboration with an outside institution(s) or collaborator(s).6. Roles and Responsibilities
6.1. In the case of SRC Activity, the Pl is responsible for submitting an application to the ACC, and shall have the primary responsibility of ensuring that the project participants are aware of CCAC guidelines concerning the care and use of Animals, and that the SRC Activity is undertaken in accordance with the approved protocol, CCAC guidelines, University policies and procedures, as well as all regulatory and legislative requirements.
6.2. In any instance, where teaching requires the use of Animals (i.e. in class projects, demonstrations or presentations) the instructor must submit an application to the ACC and shall have the primary responsibility for ensuring that the students are aware of CCAC guidelines concerning the humane and ethical treatment and care of Animals, and that the academic activity is undertaken in accordance with the approved protocol, CCAC guidelines, University policies and procedures, as well as all regulatory and legislative requirements.
6.3. Any modifications to an originally approved protocol must be reviewed and approved by the ACC through an amendment request. All ACC protocol approvals will remain valid for one (1) year following the date of approval. For all studies continuing beyond this one (1) year time-frame, an ACC Protocol Renewal Form must be submitted to the ACC for consideration before the end of the validity period in order to ensure ongoing ethics approval. All ACC approved protocols are active and valid for a three (3) year period, after which a new protocol must be submitted, regardless of the status of SRC and/or teaching activities.
An applicant may request an appeal or reconsideration of a decision made by the ACC with a written request. The ACC will reconsider its decision upon receipt of the written request, and the researcher may submit additional information and/or attend the ACC meeting in person to present further information, as needed.
To promote the highest standards of animal care and use, all TMU community members engaged must, at minimum, be trained in the principles and ethics of animal care and use, as outlined by the CCAC guidelines. Animal users may also be required to undergo specific institutional training.
Canadian Council on Animal Care (CCAC)
Scholarly, Research and Creative Activity (SRC) Integrity Policy -
Animals on Campus Policy