The University of British Columbia today released the Canadian Council on Animal Care (CCAC) assessment report on the University’s animal care and use program. It is the first university in Canada to release the results of a comprehensive CCAC inspection, a review conducted for research universities every three years.
The 50-page CCAC report was based on a June 2010 visit to UBC’s animal care facilities, which are in compliance with CCAC guidelines and hold a CCAC Certificate of Good Animal Practice.
“UBC has chosen to release the CCAC assessment report to further our commitment to responsible transparency and continuous improvements, the latter of which are the cornerstone of our national animal care system,” says Helen Burt, UBC’s Associate Vice President Research and International.
The CCAC report makes recommendations and holds up the University for “excellent progress in its animal care and use program,” and for investing more than $100 million to update existing animal care facilities and build new ones.
UBC has decommissioned outdated labs and completed new, centralized state of the art facilities; enhanced systems for facility management, and added to its veterinary services.
The CCAC visit consisted of inspections of all animal research and housing facilities and a detailed review of research protocols, veterinarian reports and Animal Care Committee meeting documentation by the CCAC assessment panel, composed of scientists, veterinarians and community representatives.
The report lists eight commendations, including for the dedication of UBC’s Animal Care Committee and the staff and clinical veterinarians of its Animal Care and Use Program.
CCAC recommendations are divided into three categories based on the timeframe required to address recommendations: major, serious and regular. No major recommendations were made as a result of the 2010 visit. The report lists six serious recommendations – to improve facility management, monitoring and tracking, and for enhanced veterinary services – and a variety of regular recommendations.
The report and UBC’s subsequent work to address recommendations can be found at www.animalresearch.ubc.ca/latest.html. Last fall, UBC was the first Canadian university to release statistics on animals involved in research.