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Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs)

Analgesia | Anesthesia | Surgery | Euthanasia | Experimental Guidelines | Animal Care Veterinary Care Occupational Health and Safety | Farm SOPs | Other SOPs | ALPHA Certifcate | Controlled Drugs Requirements

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.

"New" denotes newly approved SOPs

"Draft revised =" denotes revised SOPs up for review and not yet approved by the UACC

<significant> = changes to the procedures and/or doses

<minor> = formatting or correction of typos only

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:

Xenopus Frog Surgery for Oocytes Removal - SOP#9

SOP #9 - Xenopus Frog Surgery for Oocytes Removal  (Draft revised = 204- Xenopus Egg and Oocyte Collection 2014.pdf<significant>

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


ALPHA Certificate:

ALPHA stands for Alternate Laboratory for Procedures and Housing ofAnimals. The Policy requires live animals to be housed and procedures to be performed inside an animal facility. Exception can be granted by the Facility Animal Care Committee (FACC) if the researcher gives valid justification acceptable to the committee.

The laboratory will be inspected by representatives of the FACC prior to its use and annually. If it meets the proper standards for the type of procedures and/or housing proposed, an ALPHA Certificate will be issued specifically for that room. It should be posted inside the room.

The Certificate contains information about the investigator, emergency contacts, the protocol(s) number and information on the animals. The certificate is completed by the FACC Coordinator and sent to the Principal Investigator. It can be revoked by the committee for non-compliance.

The inspection will look at the suitability of the room and equipment, security of the premises, drug use, record keeping and storage, cleaning before and after, monitoring and compliance with institutional and local regulations and policies. See ALPHA Checklist.doc


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.