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February 1, 2024

The CCAC Publishes New Guidelines on Categories of Welfare Impact

Cover of the CCAC guidelines: Categories of welfare impact

The Canadian Council on Animal Care (CCAC) has published CCAC guidelines: Categories of welfare impact, along with several supporting documents. This guidelines document represents a fundamental shift in how we value the lives of individual animals, and in our understanding of good animal welfare. The CCAC guidelines: Categories of welfare impact does not focus solely on the procedures performed on animals but instead require an understanding of how they experience the world in which they live.

The guidelines will have a six-year implementation timeline, with the expectation that certified institutions develop an implementation plan by the third year. The supporting documents include frequently asked questions, examples of how to categorize procedures, and an automated scoring tool (with instructions for use). More information and guidance will be provided throughout the six-year implementation timeline.

The CCAC guidelines: Categories of welfare impact is integrated with two other recently published guidelines documents: the CCAC guidelines: Animal welfare assessment and the CCAC guidelines: Identification of scientific endpoints, humane intervention points, and cumulative endpoints. Together, they take into consideration the cumulative lifetime experiences of an animal, examine how these experiences impact their welfare (either positively or negatively), and create the expectation that they will be monitored throughout their lifespan. Good welfare is more than good health, and the welfare of animals used in science is impacted by more than just the procedures performed on them. Each of the three guidelines subcommittees aligned their respective documents with practices that are already in place in several institutions and, in many cases, the documents formalize existing procedures and thought processes that have been shown to result in good animal welfare.

The CCAC would like to thank the dedicated volunteers who participated in the creation of this guidelines document and its supporting materials. Your insights and expertise are deeply valued, and we truly appreciate the important role you play in the development of our standards for the ethical care and use of animals in Canadian science.

Should you have any questions, please do not hesitate to .

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