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Animal Care and Research Support

All research and teaching involving live vertebrate animals or cephalopods requires review and approval by the University Animal Care Committee’s Animal Research Ethics Board.

Any person witnessing or having direct knowledge of a situation that they believe jeopardizes animal welfare should report the incident immediately. Such situations may include, but are not limited to, an apparent case of non-compliance with policy or guidelines for animal use, a clinical emergency, or a mechanical or facility issue that jeopardizes animal safety or welfare.

An incident of animal welfare concern can be reported, WITHOUT DISCRIMINATION OR FEAR OF REPRISAL, by any animal care staff, laboratory personnel, faculty, or any person witnessing a situation that causes them to have a concern about the care and use of teaching and research animals at the University of Saskatchewan.

Veterinary Emergencies: please contact any animal care staff person or a UACC Veterinarian to rapidly address the issue.

The report will anonymously and automatically be sent to the Animal Care & Research Support Office (ACRS) and forwarded directly to the University Veterinarian and the University Animal Care Committee (UACC) Chair.

Alternatively, an individual may report a concern by contacting any of the following individuals:

At the University of Saskatchewan, the UACC provides oversight of animal care and use and will investigate all incident reports in accordance with UACC Procedures on Reporting of Animal Welfare Concerns.

All research, teaching or testing that involves animal subjects or the use of animal tissue must be accurately described in an Animal Use Protocol that is reviewed and approved by the University Animal Care Committee (UACC) Animal Research Ethics Board (AREB).  No animal use can take place until a Certificate of Approval has been issued.

The University of Saskatchewan follows the University Policy on Care and Use of Animals in Research and the Tri-Council MOU.  Accordingly, all vertebrate animal and cephalopod use in teaching, research, or testing must align with the Guidelines of the Canadian Council on Animal Care (CCAC).  USask holds the CCAC Certificate of Good Animal Practice, indicating its compliance with national standards.   

The ethics committee responsible for the Animal Care and Use Program is the UACC.  Administrative responsibility for the University’s overall program of animal care and use rests with the Vice President of Research.  The Animal Care and Research Support Office, operating out of the OVPR provides the following:

  • Administrative support for the UACC and animal users
  • Assistance with protocol development
  • Assistance with Permit and health certificate acquisition for international and interprovincial animal movement
  • Veterinary and research support through the UACC Veterinarians, UACC Animal Technicians, and Animal Care Services.
  • Didactic and practical skills training related to the use of animals.

Ensuring that All Animal Experimentation is Conducted in Compliance with the National Standards

The principal investigator is the key person responsible for ensuring that all animal use and manipulations are conducted according to the procedures approved in the protocol, and that all guidelines for humane treatment and use are met. The principal investigator is responsible for the conduct of all the people associated with the protocol; graduate students, research technicians, undergraduate students.

UACC monitoring of the animals while the research is in progress occurs in several ways and is an ongoing part of the animal care and use program.

Ethical Review of Animal Use Protocols

All proposed use of animals for research, teaching, testing and display must receive ethical review, and be approved by the UACC, before the animals are obtained and the work initiated. Requests to use animals must be submitted on the appropriate animal use protocol form.

Procedures for Ethics Review of Animal Use Protocols

Ethical review of animal use protocols is performed by the UACC Animal REB. The Animal REB meets monthly on the fourth Wednesday of the month. Deadline for receipt of new protocols in USask's Research Excellence and Innovation office for review that month is the first Friday of the month.

Annual Review of Ongoing Protocols

Ethics approval of animal-based research protocols is issued for one year at a time, in compliance with the CCAC guidelines and the UACC Terms of Reference. If the research project continues beyond one year, the principal investigator must submit a completed "Annual Review Report" form to Research Excellence and Innovation prior to the one-year anniversary approval date. A reminder of the upcoming annual review will be sent to the principal investigator at least two months prior to the anniversary approval date.

If the Annual Review Report form is not received by the anniversary approval date, Research Excellence and Innovation will send a second reminder to the principal investigator indicating that the study will be closed one month after the anniversary date. If the Annual Review Report form is not received within one month of the second reminder, the protocol will be considered "completed".

Protocol Modifications

During the course of the year (prior to the annual review), if any changes are required (e.g. different species or strain, increase in numbers of animals, change in animal procedures) these modifications must first be approved by the AREB, before the changes can be incorporated into the research program. Modification requests must be submitted on the  Animal Use Protocol (AUP) Modification Form. Determination as to whether a protocol modification is required, follows the  UACC Procedures on Submission of a Modification to an Existing Animal Use Protocol.

Post-Approval Review of Animal Use Protocols

A formal, structured Post-Approval Review (PAR) of animal use protocols, supplementing the activities already in place at the University is currently under development.

The purposes of the Post-Approval Review Program are:

  • To ensure the well-being and humane care and use of all animals
  • To ensure compliance with the national standards of experimental animal care and use as set out in the CCAC guidelines and policies
  • To facilitate good science – good animal care and well-being equals good science
  • To work with research staff in a collegial and supportive manner to confirm accurate and consistent protocol performance
  • To be a resource to the research community
  • To protect the institution

Provincial and Federal Permits

It is difficult to generalize about provincial/territorial permits. In most provinces/territories, the authority for species other than migratory birds protected by the federal Migratory Birds Convention Act falls under the permitting jurisdiction of the provincial/territorial Natural Resources Department. Having an Environment Canada Scientific Research Permit may not satisfy all permit requirements for research. Contact the appropriate provincial/territorial Department of Natural Resources for more complete information.

Facility Inspection Committee

Inspection of All Facilities for Housing Animals
Formal, annual inspections of all animal facilities are conducted by the UACC Facilities Inspection Committee.

Related Links Regarding Housing of Animals
The Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA) webiste, under its Science Group tab provides some guidelines on what to look for re: housing and care for a variety of species, geared toward members of ethics review boards.

The University Animal Care Committee (UACC) membership comes from across campus and from all sectors of animal care and use. The Committee consists of researchers experienced in animal care and use, veterinary expertise, a member of the University not involved with using animals, community representatives, technical staff representatives, and student representatives.

Procedures for Ethics Review of Animal Use Protocols

All proposed use of animals for research, teaching, testing and display must receive ethical review, and be approved by the UACC, before the animals are obtained and the work initiated. Requests to use animals must be submitted on the Animal Use Protocol (AUP)  Research or  Teaching Application Form.

Ethical review of animal use protocols is conducted by the UACC Animal Research Ethics Board (AREB).

If any assistance is required with a new or renewal AUP, please contact uacc.office@usask.ca or 306-966-4126. REI staff will be happy to assist by meeting in person to discuss an AUP, or providing answers via email or phone.

Annual Review of Ongoing Protocols

Ethics approval of animal-based research protocols is issued for one year at a time, in compliance with the CCAC guidelines and the UACC Terms of Reference. 
If the research project continues beyond one year, the principal investigator must submit a completed "Annual Review Report" form to the Research Services and Ethics Office prior to the one-year anniversary approval date. A reminder of the upcoming annual review will be sent to the principal investigator within two months prior to the anniversary approval date. If the Annual Review Report form is not received by the anniversary approval date, the Research Excellence and Innovation unit will send a second reminder to the principal investigator indicating that the study will be closed one month after the anniversary date. If the Annual Review Report form is not received within one month of the second reminder, the protocol will be considered "completed".

Protocol Modifications

During the course of the year (prior to the annual review), if any changes are required (e.g. different species or strain, increase in numbers of animals, change in animal procedures) these modifications must first be approved by the UACC AREB, before the changes can be incorporated into the research program. Modification requests must be submitted on the Animal Use Protocol (AUP) Modification Form.

Acknowledgement of Ethics Review

The UACC requires that the following statement of acknowledgement to indicate research has been reviewed and approved by the UACC AREB be encouraged on all posters and publications by researchers and students. It is also important for researchers and students to understand the time and commitment that the volunteer members of the AREB provide to the UACC.

This work was approved by the University of Saskatchewan’s Animal Research Ethics Board and adhered to the Canadian Council on Animal Care guidelines for humane animal use.

Scientific Peer Review of Animal Use Protocols

According to the CCAC policy statement on: the importance of independent peer review of the scientific merit of animal-based research projects, it is the institution’s responsibility to have in place a mechanism to ensure that proposed animal use for research is independently peer-reviewed for its scientific merit before it is given final approval by the University Animal Care Committee (UACC) Animal Research Ethics Board (AREB).

All proposed animal-based research work must be peer reviewed for scientific merit, at arm's length from the UACC AREB. The AREB will not not issues a Certificate of Approval for a new or 4-year renewal animal use protocol if confirmation that scientific merit has been demonstrated through an independent peer review is not demonstrated to the AREB.

The Research Excellence and Innovation unit has compiled a list of funding agencies that are known to conduct peer review as part of their granting process. The Office of Vice-President Research Scientific Merit Review Committee for Animal Use Protocols (SMRC) is responsible for ensuring that all proposed animal-based work has received peer review for scientific merit. Please refer to the  Scientific Peer Review Assessment Form for Evaluation of Scientific Merit relating to Animal Use Protocols for guidance as to the questions asked during the peer review process and refer to the Procedure for Scientific Merit Review of Animal Use Protocols (Principal Investigators).

The Three Rs (Replacement, Reducation and Refinement)

The CCAC Three Rs microsite is a unique Canadian resource that includes information on Replacement, Reduction and Refinement in research, testing and teaching. In addition, the Three Rs Search Guide is a resource designed to facilitate investigators to consider the Three Rs during animal use protocol preparation.

The Three Rs microsite contains other useful tools such as: The Animal Index (grouping Three Rs resources by category and/or species to assist in finding resources specific to certain types of animals) and Care & Techniques(information about refinements to animal care and animal-based scientific techniques).

The National Centre for the Replacement, Refinement & Reduction of Animals in Research (NC3Rs) ARRIVE (Animal Research: Reporting of In Vivo Experiments) guidelines are intended to improve the reporting of research using animals – maximising information published and minimising unnecessary studies. First published in 2010, the ARRIVE guidelines are endorsed by a growing list of journals, funders, and academic institutions. Refer to the  ARRIVE guidelines and  ARRIVE guidelines checklist as an aid to project planning and experimental design considerations. NOTE - Animal Research Ethics Board (AREB) review of an Animal Use Protocol will consider ARRIVE guidelines checklist items and recommendations as appropriate.

To accommodate regulatory requirements and to meet the needs of researchers, the AREB holds one full-board meeting per month. The AREB meets on the last Wednesday of every month, except for the December meeting, or if otherwise announced.

Deadline for receipt of new protocols in the Research Excellence and Innovation for review that month is ~4 weeks prior to the AREB meeting day according to the schedule listed below. Protocol submissions must be submitted by 4:30 pm on the submission date. Late applications will be held over to the next meeting date. Protocols will be numbered as Research Excellence and Innovation receives them.

Amendments, revisions and updated annual approval requests that require full board approval must be submitted as per the submission date schedule to be included on the agenda of the scheduled meeting.

  • Submit completed AUP electronically by e-mail to uacc.office@usask.ca
  • Note: Signed signature page may be submitted as hard copy to UACC AREB c/o Research Excellence and Innovation 223 - 110 Science Place, Thorvaldson Building

2021 AREB and AREB Subcommittee Submission Deadline Dates

AREB

Submission Deadline

Meeting Date

AREB-1

23-Dec-2020

06-Jan-2021

AREB Subcommittee-1

4-Jan-2021

13-Jan-2021

AREB-2

06-Jan-2021

20-Jan-2021

AREB Subcommittee-2

13-Jan-2021

27-Jan-2021

 

 

 

AREB-1

20-Jan-2021

03-Feb-2021

AREB Subcommittee-1

27-Jan-2021

10-Feb-2021

AREB-2

03-Feb-2021

17-Feb-2021

AREB Subcommittee-2

10-Feb-2021

24-Feb-2021

 

 

 

AREB-1

17-Feb-2021

03-Mar-2021

AREB Subcommittee-1

24-Feb-2021

10-Mar-2021

AREB-2

03-Mar-2021

17-Mar-2021

AREB Subcommittee-2

10-Mar-2021

24-Mar-2021

 

 

 

AREB-1

24-Mar-2021

07-Apr-2021

AREB Subcommittee-1

31-Mar-2021

14-Apr-2021

AREB-2

07-Apr-2021

21-Apr-2021

AREB Subcommittee-2

14-Apr-2021

28-Apr-2021

 

 

 

AREB-1

21-Apr-2021

05-May-2021

AREB Subcommittee-1

28-Apr-2021

12-May-2021

AREB-2

05-May-2021

19-May-2021

AREB Subcommittee-2

12-May-2021

26-May-2021

 

 

 

AREB-1

19-May-2021

02-Jun-2021

AREB Subcommittee-1

26-May-2021

09-Jun-2021

AREB-2

02-Jun-2021

16-Jun-2021

AREB Subcommittee-2

09-Jun-2021

23-Jun-2021

 

 

 

AREB-1

23-Jun-2021

07-July-2021

AREB Subcommittee-1

30-Jun-2021

14-July-2021

 

 

 

AREB-1

21-July-2021

04-Aug-2021

AREB Subcommittee-1

28-July-2021

11-Aug-2021

AREB-2

04-Aug-2021

18-Aug-2021

AREB Subcommittee-2

11-Aug-2021

25-Aug-2021

 

 

 

AREB-1

25-Aug-2021

08-Sep-2021

AREB Subcommittee-1

1-Sep-2021

15-Sep-2021

AREB-2

08-Sep-2021

22-Sep-2021

AREB Subcommittee-2

15-Sep-2021

29-Sep-2021

AREB-1

22-Sep-2021

06-Oct-2021

AREB Subcommittee-1

29-Sep-2021

13-Oct-2021

AREB-2

06-Oct-2021

20-Oct-2021

AREB Subcommittee-2

13-Oct-2021

27-Oct-2021

 

 

 

AREB-1

20-Oct-2021

03-Nov-2021

AREB Subcommittee-1

27-Oct-2021

10-Nov-2021

AREB-2

03-Nov-2021

17-Nov-2021

AREB Subcommittee-2

10-Nov-2021

24-Nov-2021

 

 

 

AREB-2

24-Nov-2021

08-Dec-2021

AREB Subcommittee-2

01-Dec-2021

15-Dec-2021

The University of Saskatchewan’s UACC Education and Training Program provides training components designed to meet the Canadian Council on Animal Care (CCAC) guidelines on: training of personnel working with animals in science (2015).

The guidelines state that “All personnel working with animals in science must be knowledgeable about the principles of humane experimental science and ethical issues associated with the use of those animals, including the Three Rs tenet (replacement, reduction and refinement),” and “All animal users must have the theoretical knowledge and practical skills necessary to be competent to perform their required tasks.” 

Within these guidelines, “all personnel” includes animal users (principal investigators, post-doctoral fellows, graduate and undergraduate students, research technical staff, etc.), as well as those involved in the care and husbandry of animals used in science (animal care staff, animal facility managers, veterinarians, etc.).

To ensure that our university’s education and training program for animal users is fully compliant with the CCAC guidelines, the training components provided by UACC include:

  • The Non-Credit UACC Animal Ethics Course. Four comprehensive courses are available through the USask Blackboard system: laboratory animals, fish, wildlife, and farm animals. A shortened “Basic principles of ethics and welfare of animal use in science” course is available for veterinarians and principal investigators delegating animal work to a knowledgeable co-investigator.
  • GSR 962 Course – Ethics and Integrity in Animal Research course for graduate students. Graduate students will take the equivalent of the non-credit UACC Animal Ethics Course, but will receive academic credit for completing it.
  • Practical skills training, including basic experimental animal care and handling, anaesthesia, basic surgical skills, and advanced procedures.
  • One-on-one training as requested
  • Documentation of skills training through the Animal Use Protocol (AUP). The AUP documents the education and training received, and procedures performed by individuals listed on the AUP.
  • Monitoring of procedures through the Post-Approval Review (PAR) Program

In order to work with animals in science at USask, individual animal users must complete both theoretical ethics training (available online) as well as hands-on practical skills training (face-to-face with a UACC instructor). 

Online Training

The UACC Animal Ethics Course is an on-line training course available in four different comprehensive versions (laboratory animals, farm animals, fish, and wildlife). A fifth, more condensed version of the UACC Animal Ethics Course is also available specifically for SVMA licensed veterinarians or for principal investigators who are not directly involved in the use of live animals. Only the version(s) relevant to a specific animal user need(s) to be completed as part of the UACC Education and Training Program. For help in determining which version(s) are relevant to your personal situation, please refer to this  decision tree and/or the “ UACC Procedures for Training Required for Approval of Animal Use Protocol Applications” policy document.

The UACC Animal Ethics Course must be completed by all individuals listed on an animal use protocol before the UACC Animal Research Ethics Board (AREB) will approve the protocol.

Each course is divided into modules and contains three quizzes based directly on course content. When all modules and quizzes have been passed successfully (average of 80% is required), the registrant will have passed the online course. You will receive a printable certificate by email, the day following your successful completion of the course.

To register, go to Safety Resources, select the appropriate course, and proceed with online instructions.

If you have an inactive network services ID (NSID), please send an email and include your NSID to uacc.office@usask.ca. Researchers or other animal users not affiliated with the U of S who are interested in registering for the UACC Animal Ethics Course but do not have a NSID should contact uacc.office@usask.ca for further instructions.

Graduate students using animals in their research, must register for the GSR 962: Ethics and Integrity in Animal Research course. Graduate students should register for this course via PAWS, similar to registration for other U of S courses at the beginning of the academic term (to avoid any late registration fees). Graduate students must also then register for the UACC Animal Ethics Course via the Safety Resources website: http://safetyresources.usask.ca/services/trainingAt the end of each academic term, the Research Services and Ethics Office will confirm with the College of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies the students who have successfully completed the UACC Animal Ethics Course. A pass/fail grade will then be recorded on the student’s transcript.  

If you have any questions or problems with the UACC Animal Ethics Course, please email uacc.office@usask.ca.

Practical Skills Training

The UACC offers several practical skills training workshops on a regular basis, including rodent handling, anaesthesia, and surgical skills. Workshops on cattle handling and avian euthanasia are generally offered on an annual basis, or as needed. A workshop on aquatic animal care is currently under development. Other training can be provided as required by sending a request to uacc.office@usask.ca.

For more information on available workshops and to register, select the appropriate course, and proceed with online instructions.

If you have any questions or problems with the practical skills training, please uacc.office@usask.ca.

Education and Training Resources

For a listing of useful animal ethics, welfare, and training resources, materials, and links, please visit our SharePoint.

If you have questions or problems with the SharePoint site, or suggestions for links to add, please email uacc.office@usask.ca.

Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) and Humane Intervention Point (HIP) Databank

UACC Procedures

Other resources

Prairie Diagnostic Services (PDS)

Prairie Diagnostic Services Inc. (PDS) is a non-profit corporation funded by the Province of Saskatchewan and the University of Saskatchewan. PDS provides client-focused veterinary laboratory services and expertise in support of animal health diagnostics, research, teaching and surveillance. The provincial veterinary laboratory is based at the Western College of Veterinary Medicine.

To submit a sample, please refer to the PDS Submission Form page, or for more information, please visit the PDS website. A complete list of the diagnostic tests offered at PDS as well as many of the referred out tests are listed in their test guide

  • How many copies of my ethics application need to be submitted to the Animal Research Ethics Board?

One original with signatures (hard copy) plus an electronic copy are required.

  • Does my project require animal ethics review and approval?

The University of Saskatchewan Animal Research Ethics Board (Animal REB) operates in accordance with the Canadian standards for experimental animal care and use as defined in the guidelines of the Canadian Council on Animal Care (CCAC).  The CCAC provides the principle body of “rules” under which the Animal REB functions.  All research that involves living animal subjects or the use of animal tissue from subjects requires review and approval by the Animal REB according to the guidelines set out therein.  
The following list represents a broad overview of the range of research projects or situations that would require review and approval by the REB:

    • Research that will be published.
    • Research that is funded or unfunded.  Funding may be internal or external.
    • Projects where participants are from inside or outside the university.
    • Research that is conducted by students or faculty.
    • Research projects that are conducted inside or outside the institution.
    • Research designs that are observational, experimental, correctional, or descriptive.
    • Review is still required even if a similar project has been approved elsewhere.
    • Pilot studies or fully developed projects undergo the same review process.
    • The primary goal of the research is for teaching or training purposes, or the acquisition of knowledge.

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