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Policy 52: Ethics Review of Research Involving Animals

 

Responsible Office:        Vice President, Research and Innovation

Revision Approval Date: May 1, 2018

1.    Purpose

The purpose of this policy is to ensure that the use of Animals in the course of research and teaching undertaken by members of the Ryerson community is undertaken in a responsible manner that adheres to the requirements of the Canadian Council on Animal Care (CCAC) and its guidelines for the humane treatment of experimental Animals.

2.   Application and Scope

This policy applies to all Ryerson faculty, staff, and graduate and undergraduate students using Animals in the course of research and curriculum. This includes students conducting research with Animals as part of class assignments, except where the students are engaging in research outside of their roles at Ryerson (e.g . students involved in research at placements).

This policy does not apply to Animals used for non-academic purposes, such as pets, mascots or as demonstrations to children in the daycare centres.   

3.    Definitions 

In this policy:

"Animal" means amphibians, birds, mammals, fish, reptiles and other creatures as specified in the CCAC guidelines.

"CCAC" means the Canadian Council on Animal Care "ACC" means the Animal Care Committee.

"Pl" means the principal investigator who has primary responsibility and oversight of a research project.

4.    Goals, Values and Principles

The university is committed to ensure the highest standards of Animal ethics and care are valued and assured in all Animal-based science conducted by the members of the Ryerson Community.  The integrity of the research and teaching involving Animals undertaken by members of the University is important for all stakeholders, including students, faculty and external stakeholders.

The use of Animals in research, teaching, and testing is acceptable only if it promises to contribute to understanding of fundamental biological principles, or to the development of knowledge that can reasonably be expected to benefit humans or Animals .

Every effort must be made to find a substitute for the use of Animals in research. Where this is not possible, the Animals must be housed, fed, and treated as humanely as possible according to CCAC Guidelines.

5.    Policy

All research and teaching involving Animals conducted under the auspice of the University must comply with the CCAC guidelines, procedures and standards.

No research or teaching using Animals shall be conducted by any member of the University unless the activity has been approved in advance through Ryerson's ACC. This includes projects carried out in the field or in a facility not owned by Ryerson, or in collaboration with an outside institution(s) or co-researcher(s).

In conducting research ethics reviews, the ACC must operate in an impartial manner, without interference. The decisions of the ACC with respect to any given research project are not subject to review by the Senate, the Vice President Research and Innovation or any other person except to the extent that such decisions may be appealed pursuant to this policy.

A researcher may request reconsideration of a decision made by the ACC. The ACC will reconsider its decision upon receipt of a written request, and the researcher may submit additional information and/or attend the ACC meeting in person to present information.

The ACC has the authority to immediately order the stoppage of any use of Animals which deviates from the approved protocol or is deemed to be in non- compliance with relevant legislation, regulations or university policies and procedures.

6.    Roles and Responsibilities

The ACC's mandate is to approve, reject, propose modification to, or terminate any proposed or ongoing research or teaching involving Animals that is conducted by the University or by its faculty, staff, and/or students so as to protect the Animals and to ensure that research is conducted in an ethical manner.

The ACC is appointed by the Vice President Research and Innovation and approved by Senate and shall be constituted in accordance with the terms of the CCAC.

In the case of research, the Pl is responsible for making the application to the ACC, and shall have the primary responsibility for ensuring that the project participants are aware of CCAC guidelines concerning the care and use of Animals, and that the research is undertaken in accordance with the approved protocol, the CCAC Guidelines, University policies and procedures, as well as legislative requirements.

Where teaching requires the use of Animals (i.e. in class projects, demonstrations or presentations) the instructor is responsible for making the application to the ACC and shall have the primary responsibility for ensuring that the students are aware of CCAC guidelines concerning the care and use of Animals, and that the academic activity is undertaken in accordance with the approved protocol, the CCAC Guidelines, University policies and procedures, as well as legislative requirements.