Animal Use Protocol Review and Approval Process

Before the Animal Care Committee (ACC) approves animal use:

  •  the research for which animals are to be used must have been found to have scientific merit
  • the teaching for which animals are to be used must have been found to have pedagogical merit

The ACC approves all animal use for research or teaching following reviews of:

  • full, new protocols for new instances of animal use
  • amendments to existing protocols as needed
  • annual renewals of all ongoing protocols (a new protocol is required after 3 renewals)  

The ACC:

  • reviews and approves the vast majority of protocols during its monthly meetings
  • delegates the approval of minor amendments to protocols to the Office of Animal Ethics & Compliance
  • allows for executive approval of certain protocols (including review and approval by the ACC Chair or a delegate, a veterinarian, a community representative and the Director of Animal Ethics & Compliance), but this is exceptional and is only donewhere urgent considerations warrant it – please contact Marie Bédard

Animal use protocols, amendments and renewals are prepared in the Topaz system. If you do not have access, please complete the New User & Request for Access to Topaz Form.

For assistance with any part of this process, please contact Courtney Reeks (613-562-5444) or Marie Bédard (613-562-5800, ext. 6021).


Scientific/pedagogical merit

Scientific merit for research projects involving animals

If your research project has been found to have scientific merit by an agency that funds research based on independent, expert peer review (e.g. CIHR, NSERC, etc.), please include this information in your animal use protocol submission in Topaz.

If your research project has not yet been subject to this type of review, please fill out the Scientific Merit Form and send it to the Assistant Dean, Research and Special Projects of the Faculty of Medicine, uOttawa through the Administrative Assistant of the Research Office. The Assistant Dean will provide the findings of the peer review to you and to the uOttawa Animal Care Committee.

 

Pedagogical merit of teaching involving animals

Please include the information relative to the faculty or departmental pedagogical review of your course in your animal use protocol submission in Topaz.

New animal use protocols

To create a new protocol, select “Create Original Protocol”, under the “Protocols” heading in Topaz, and select “New Protocol Form”. The new form can be used for all types of animal-based research or teaching and replaces the formerly separate experimental, breeding and field study protocol forms.

Please ensure that each protocol submitted to the ACC is clear and complete. Please do not include too many different studies in one protocol. Where separate studies are to be done, please divide them into separate protocols. 

When you are ready, please click on the “submit” button in Topaz to submit a protocol to the ACC.

Protocol amendments & renewals

Please note that only 1 amendment or 1 renewal can be prepared, submitted and approved at any one time for a given protocol. You can delete amendment or renewal drafts that are no longer useful to you and begin a new one.

 

Protocol amendments

The following are minor amendments (can be approved by Animal Ethics & Compliance on behalf of the ACC)

  • Adding or removing personnel
  • Adding a strain of rodent or zebrafish whose phenotype does not have negative impacts on its health or welfare, or making a change from one species to a very similar one
  • Asking for up to 20% more animals than originally approved
  • Asking for a procedural change that will improve animal welfare
  • Asking for a procedural change that will have little impact on animal welfare, and that will not increase the category of invasiveness (e.g. a change to another procedure within an approved SOP, etc.) – a veterinarian will be consulted on procedural changes

Major amendments include:

  • Adding or changing a species (unless it is very similar to one already on the protocol)
  • Asking for an increase of over 20% in the number of animals
  • Asking for a procedural change that will significantly impact animal health or welfare

You can amend any protocol directly from the existing protocol, no matter which original form it is in. Simply select “Create Amendment Protocol” under the “Protocols” heading in Topaz, and select the protocol that you wish to amend. You can also amend a protocol at the time of annual renewal, in the renewal form.

  

Protocol renewals

You can renew any protocol directly from the existing protocol, no matter which original form it is in. Simply select “Create Renewal Protocol” under the “Protocols” heading in Topaz, and select the protocol that you wish to renew. You can also amend a protocol at the time of annual renewal.

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