Animal research ethics

All research, teaching or testing that involves animals requires review and approval by the Animal Welfare Committee (AWC).

The use of animals for research, teaching and testing is a privilege, one that comes with important responsibilities:

  • Ensure that good science is conducted
  • Meet ethical responsibilities for ensuring that every animal is treated humanely and not subjected to unnecessary pain or distress
  • Work within the accepted standards for experimental animal care and use

The University adheres to the national standards outlined by the Canadian Council on Animal Care (CCAC). When animals are used in science or other activities, the primary concern of the University is to minimize the discomfort to the animals, and ensure that their care and use be in accordance with the guidelines of CCAC. Some of CCAC's core values are embedded in the "Three Rs" policy concept of replacement, reduction, and refinement of animals. The Three Rs stipulate that harm be minimized when animals are being used for scientific pursuits.

The CCAC program is based on scientific peer review, policy making, and responsibility at the institutional level, and they monitor compliance through their assessment program. The University of Lethbridge holds the CCAC Certificate of Good Animal Practice, indicating that it is in compliance with these national standards set by the CCAC. For projects funded by CIHR, NSERC, and SSHRC, the University also complies with the conditions of the Agreement on the Administration of Agency Grants and Awards by Research Institutions.


Quick links

These links direct you to the appropriate guidelines, policies, forms and information within the appropriate departments or agencies:

Animal Ethics Policy

CCAC Guidelines and Policies

Institutional Animal User Training Program (IAUTP)

Hazard Management


Laser Safety

Field Safety

Material Transfer Agreements

Post-Approval Monitoring Program

Requirements for Ethics Approval

Standard Operating Procedures (approved access only)



Contacts for research involving animals