CCAC Reportable Animal Welfare Incidents

The CCAC is creating new guidance materials with the intention to go beyond the traditional focuses of ensuring animal health and reducing the impact of scientific procedures performed on animals. They signify a shift in the understanding of what good animal welfare is, and how to promote it; good animal 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.

In keeping with this initiative, the newly revised CCAC policy: Certification of ethical animal care and use programs, and its requirement to notify the CCAC of reportable animal welfare incidents within 14 days of occurrence, should help researchers, instructors, and animal care committee members to better understand the overall impact of science on animal welfare by quantifying potential mortality related to any event or condition experienced by an animal.

A CCAC reportable animal welfare incident refers to an event that leads to significant mortality levels for animals used in research, teaching, or testing, or poses an immediate and significant threat to animal health or welfare, leading to the suspension of the animal-based activity by the animal care committee or the institution. Certified institutions are required to notify the CCAC within 14 days (two weeks) of any CCAC reportable animal welfare incident, regardless of whether the incident has been resolved. If you are unsure of whether an event should be reported, please promptly .

The requirement also supports institutions and animal care committees in having sound internal and external incident reporting mechanisms. Additionally, CCAC reportable animal welfare incident notifications will help the CCAC collect and disseminate information on preventable incidents to all certified institutions, as part of its role in overseeing ethical animal care and use programs and providing accountability to the Canadian public. Information gathered from reported incidents should help inform future CCAC standards, policies, and guidelines.

Failure to notify the CCAC of a reportable animal welfare incident could lead to a Major recommendation or the assignment of Serious recommendations and a probationary certificate when the CCAC becomes aware of the incident through other means.

The following documents are available for the management of any CCAC reportable animal welfare incident: