UACC Communication Bulletin - Fall 2022

This bulletin highlights the following information & updates since our last bulletin (Spring 2022):

TRAQ 2.0 Update

The University Animal Care Committee and Animal Care Services is continuing its work on the implementation of animal oversight and facility operations components of TRAQ 2.0. The delay in going live will allow for more thorough evaluation to ensure it will support the needs of our program as mandated by the Canadian Council on Animal Care. We will update end users as progress evolves to our User Acceptance Testing (UAT) phase.  We appreciate your patience.

UACC Updates

Now that restrictions have been lifted and in adherence with recommendation from the CCAC, the UACC will be completing in person laboratory assessments before the end of the calendar year as required. 

As a reminder, these assessments are done to confirm compliance with approved animal protocols, improve understanding of the UACC members with the in vivo work performed outside of the main facilities, and encourage open communication between researchers and the UACC. We appreciate your cooperation and look forward to stopping by labs where live animals are brought.

The UACC is still seeking to fill one graduate student representative position (2 year term) as well as one institutional non animal user position (preferably faculty level with biostatistics background) (3 year term).

The UACC meets monthly to review all animal use protocols as well as other times throughout the year to accomplish other duties. 
The UACC is mandated by the Animals for Research Act (OMAFRA), and the Canadian Council on Animal Care (CCAC) to ensure the welfare of animals in their procurement, care and use in research, teaching, or testing at Queen's University.

To participate in this valuable opportunity, interested candidates should contact the UACC Coordinator with a short description stating why they are interested in this position

The UACC has developed a definition for Pilot protocols for Principal Investigator consideration when submitting animal use protocols or contemplating protocol amendments. Both the CCAC and the UACC encourage the use of pilot studies
when new approaches, methods or products are being tried, before approving new, large scale protocols.

Pilot studies are defined as Animal Use Protocols where the outcome of what is being proposed is generally unknown. This could include the determination of a half-life of a compound; a new procedure/animal model to the University/Lab; or an evaluation of a new procedure against a known procedure. Pilots are conducted to support the future methodological decisions needed to progress with a full study. A pilot should contain the minimum number of animals to define statistical variability which will enable a power analysis for a more robust study, if warranted. The results of the study should also help define the humane intervention points as well as the experimental endpoints for any future studies.

Additional peer review for scientific merit is not required if the purpose of the pilot study is to develop or evaluate a new method within the context of a peer-reviewed research program.  Standalone peer review is however required if the pilot study explores a new research direction that is not covered within the context of an existing peer-reviewed research program. 
Pilots are granted a 1-year approval period with a required progress report of the outcomes upon completion. If further work is to be undertaken following the Pilot, a new protocol must be submitted.

Now that more activities on campus are resuming, we would like to remind you to contact the UACC if you are planning or know about an activity that involves live animals.  

Please refer to the UACC Policy on Activities involving Live Animals for more information. 

UACC Policies (Revised & New)

The following revised policies are now available on the University Animal Care Committee (UACC) & Institutional Policies page

Standard triennial review and formatting changes. This policy underwent minor revisions including the need to record specific details on cage cards (date of surgery, initial animal weight before beginning surgical procedure, 15% weight loss if observed); the need to contact the University Veterinarian if sutures or staples need to be replaced; and the addition that recovery surgery must only be performed in approved spaces designed for surgery or within a Biosafety Cabinet (BSC) within a holding room.

View policy on Aseptic Surgery

Standard triennial review and formatting changes.

View policy on the Queen’s University Biological Station (QUBS)

Standard triennial review and formatting changes. This policy underwent minor revisions including clarification that percent animal increases (which in part dictate the classification of Minor vs. Major amendment) are based off the total number of animals on the protocol. 

View policy on Protocol Amendments

This new policy defines acceptable rat caging parameters and outlines suitability based on animal age/size and animal density in accordance with CCAC Guidelines on Rats. Standard enrichment has also been outlined to define the minimum expectations. Deviations would require justification as it becomes an animal welfare consideration. 

View policy on Rat Housing

Canadian Council on Animal Care (CCAC) Updates

The CCAC Annual Report 2021-2022

The Canadian Council on Animal Care (CCAC) is pleased to announce the publication of the CCAC Annual Report 2021-2022: Ethical animal care and use through commitment and collaboration. This is the first report on our progress toward our four new strategic goals and activities from the CCAC Strategic Plan 2021-2026. We hope you enjoy the new format of the report, which is designed to be more engaging and concise.

The CCAC would like to take this opportunity to thank its dedicated community of volunteer experts, whose collective knowledge, skills, and experience play a vital role in the CCAC’s success and in ensuring the welfare of animals in Canadian science.

Explore the CCAC Animal Data Report 2021

The Canadian Council on Animal Care (CCAC) has released the CCAC Animal Data Report 2021, which provides a national overview of animal-based science in CCAC-certified institutions from January 1 to December 31, 2021.
The CCAC thanks all those responsible for compiling and submitting their institutional data.

Quick Facts from 2021

  • A total of 3,692,479 animals in research, teaching, and testing were reported to the CCAC
  • The three animal types most often used were mice (34.1%), fish (33.9%), and birds (12.0%)
  • The largest proportion of animals (56.5%) were used in studies of a fundamental nature in science relating to essential structures or functions, or Purpose of Animal Use (PAU) 1, representing 2,167,077 animals

For more quick facts, consult the CCAC Facts & Figures, which provides a visual overview of the number of animals involved in Canadian science for the purposes of research, teaching, and testing, as well as general information about the CCAC and the Canadian system of oversight.

It is important to note that there are many external factors that may influence the numbers of animals from year to year. Caution should be used when comparing numbers of animals over time or when tracking progress towards the Three Rs.

Should you have any questions concerning the 2021 animal data report, please contact the CCAC.