The University Animal Care Committee (UACC) site is supported by the Animal Compliance Team in the Office of Vice-Principal (Research and International Relations).
Anyone who needs to work with live animals in research and teaching must obtain approval prior to acquiring and handling animals. The process may take up to two months for complex projects.
Quick link to Darwin, the on-line protocol management software.
The following steps are to be followed by researchers and instructors wishing to work with animals:
- If you do not already have access to the on-line software Darwin, please make a request by completing the Darwin Access Request Web form.
- Complete and submit an Animal Use Protocol application in Darwin, revise as per committee recommendations if needed via Darwin.
- Be aware that there are training requirements for all those handling animals and the principal investigators.
- Once an Animal Use Protocol is approved, you can start working with animals.
Assistance available for researchers and instructors:
- For obtaining access to Darwin, how to complete an animal use protocol application and reporting software issues, send an email to darwin [dot] vprir [at] mcgill [dot] ca (Darwin Support).
- Veterinarians for procedure or design related questions.
- Coordinators of Animal Care Committees for submission deadlines or matters related to the research.
- Animal Facility staff for ordering and housing related matters.
Important to know that:
- Everyone working with live animals must take and pass the theory and at least register for practical training before the project can be approved;
- Participation into the Occupational Health Program for Animal Related Activities is highly recommended but is mandatory for those working with non-human primates;
- Only a McGill or Affiliated Hospital faculty member or animal facility manager can be a Principal Investigator for an animal project.
- For research projects which are not from a peer reviewed source of funding, internal peer review is required to document scientific merit. Contact your Faculty or Director's Office to make the request;
- Animals requiring approval are:
- all living vertebrates and fish, including cephalopods (octopuses and squids).
- animals held, even for a short period,
- wild animals that will be handled, tagged, fitted with transmitters, given food/nests, restrained, measured, etc (no approval needed if only observing them from afar),
- for tissue collection (unless the animal comes from an abattoir or other source where the animals were not obtained for your project specifically).
Please read this letter from Prof. Denis Thérien, who was Vice-Principal (Research and International Relations); Prof. Anthony Masi, Provost; and Dr. Richard Levin, Vice-Principal (Health Affairs) :
Admin letter to community about animal care program[.doc]
Investigators are responsible for complying with CFIA regulations concerning feeds, biologicals and drugs for livestock animals destined for the food supply. They must consult with CFIA’s Schedule IV or V, list of approved veterinary biologics, Compendium of Medicating Ingredient Brochures, and/or for obtaining a Research Exemption or Safety Assessment from CFIA at www.inspection.gc.ca. Investigators are advised to consult with the Chair of the FACC or the University Veterinarian in planning these initiatives.
Committee information, policies, guidelines, training and animal related information and documents are found on this Web site as well as the Theory course.
For general information about animal research, please read our pamphlet:
Questions can be sent by animalcare [at] mcgill [dot] ca (email).