Animal care

All research, testing and teaching programs involving the use of animals must be reviewed prior to the start of any experimental work, to ensure that animals are humanely cared for, pain and discomfort are minimized, no unnecessary animals are used, and that anaesthesia, analgesia and euthanasia are properly and humanely administered. The Macdonald Campus Facility Animal Care Committee (FACC) follows the guidelines established by the Canadian Council on Animal Care and the McGill University Animal Care Committee

All Animal Protocol related word forms have been discontinued.  All Animal Use Protocol applications and amendments are now in a fully web based electronic software called  Darwin.  Please consult the Darwin software section for the link, manual, video and details.

For Facility Animal Care Meeting Dates, click here


Mandatory Animal Ethics Web Course

All personnel cited on an Animal Use Form must have received certified training and all are required to complete the web based Animal Ethics course. For details of the Animal Ethics course and available animal handling training workshops, please see this website.

Animal Methodology Workshops

The Animal Resources Centre will provide training in mouse or rat handling techniques on the Macdonald Campus by request. A minimum of 6 students is required. Workshops take place on a regular basis on the downtown campus.

Occupational Health & Safety Program

Principal investigators are responsible for ensuring that everyone in their research group is part of McGill's Occupational Health & Saftey Program for animal related activities.

Standard Operating Procedures (SOP)

For a list of commonly used standard operating procedures at Macdonald Campus, see this link.

Procedure to follow for the Submission of your Animal Care Protocol

Investigators should submit Animal Care Protocols using the fully web based electronic software called Darwin.
Investigators are responsible for following the Macdonald Campus Facility Animal Care Committee (FACC) review process.

Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) Regulations

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 this website. Investigators are advised to consult with the Chair of the FACC or the University Veterinarian in planning these initiatives.

Procedure to follow for submission of Animal Care Protocol Renewals

For annual renewals, use Darwin.  Please note renewals are accepted for the first and second years of an Animal Use Protocol (AUP). An AUP requesting a renewal for the third time is required to complete a full application (same as new AUP).

How to expedite approval of your Animal Care Protocol

  • Complete and submit an Animal Use Protocol in Darwin
  • Read the instructions and make sure you comprehensively fill out all parts of the form. An incomplete form delays the process.
  • Make sure you have all the relevant information on the qualifications of all users
  • If an appropriate Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) is not available, make sure you describe clearly the procedures you intend to use with the animals.
  • If a project uses infectious agents be sure you also submit your Biohazard form along with your protocol.
  • All protocols not funded by grants peer reviewed for scientific merit must request peer review from the Associate Dean (Research) of his/her Faculty. 

Please Note: If poylclonal antibodies are being produced for you by the McGill Animal Resources Centre you do not require an Animal Use Protocol to cover this procedure.


Comments or questions should be addressed to:
david.zadworny [at] (David Zadworny), Ph. D.
Chair, Facility Animal Care Committee
Associate Professor, Department of Animal Science
Tel.: 514-398-7978