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Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs)

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Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) provide a detailed description of commonly used procedures. SOPs offer investigators an alternative to writing detailed procedures in their protocol. Any deviation from the approved procedures must be clearly described and justified in the Animal Use Protocol application in Darwin. Approval of the protocol indicates approval of the deviation from the SOP for that project only. The following Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) were created and/or revised by the Veterinary Care Subcommittee and/or the Occupational Health and Safety Subcommittee, and approved by the University Animal Care Committee.

Some SOPs have been revised or newly created and are identified as such. They are posted here as drafts to allow everyone to review prior to approval. Please share your suggestions and comments with your veterinarian or FACC on these draft SOPs by July 1st 2015.

" >>> DRAFT revised May 2015 = " denotes SOPs that were recently modified and are currently under review and not yet approved. 

" NEW  >>> DRAFT May 2015 = " denotes completely new SOPs currently under review and not yet approved.

" - [mmm/yyyy]" - denotes the month and year of last revision and approved by the UACC.

<< SIGNIFICANT REVISION >> = Significant changes were made, involving more than minor clarifications, fixing typos or formatting changes.

If you have questions or have a recommendation to make, please send an animalcare [at] mcgill [dot] ca (email) or talk to the Veterinarian in your area.








Experimental Guidelines

Animal Care



Veterinary Care



Occupational Health and Safety



Farm SOPs:

MAC FACC Web site



Other SOPs:

Working with a Laminar Flow Cabinet

SOP C-2 - Working with a Laminar Flow Cabinet


Body Condition Score (BCS)

Body Condition Score Outline Mice
Body Condition Score Outline For Rats

Of interest: Article Body Condition Score for Rats


Requirements on Record Keeping, Storage and Disposal of Controlled Drugs:


The storage conditions and physical security for the controlled substance must meet the requirements of the "Directive on Physical Security Requirements for Controlled Substances", available on the Health Canada website: http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/hc-ps/substancontrol/substan/securit-eng.php
For scientific exemptions, the required security level is Security Level - 1 and the maximum licensee holdings is $5000.  Please note that each researcher must have his or her own storage.

The conditions of record keeping and disposal is outlined in the exemption letter as follows:

The researcher is required to maintain records with respect to his/her possession and use of the controlled substance in accordance with the applicable regulations.  The researcher shall furnish such information respecting such controlled substances as the Minister may requires and shall permit access to the records required to be kept by these Regulations. Specifically, the researcher must keep and retain for a period of two years from the making of such record, the following information:

•        the kind, date and quantity of any controlled substance purchased or received;
•        the name and address of the person from whom the controlled substance was received; and particulars of the use to which the controlled substance was put.

The researcher is responsible for the destruction of any unused or expired controlled substance.  The destruction must be witnessed by a member of his/her research staff who is working on the same research project as specified in the exemption, and who works under the researcher’s direction and control.  The method of destruction used must alter or denature the controlled substance in such a way as to make it non-recoverable and thus make their consumption improbable or impossible. The researcher is required to keep and retain for a period of two years from the date of the making of the record, the following information:

•        the name, strength per unit, and quantity of any controlled substance to be destroyed;
•        the date of destruction; and
•        the reason for destruction.

Immediately following the destruction, the researcher and the witness are required to sign and print their names on a joint statement indicating that they witnessed the destruction and that the controlled substance destroyed has been altered or denatured to such an extent that its consumption has been rendered impossible or improbable.

The researcher shall make such records available to the Minister or an inspector upon request.