March 11, 2017

CCAC Statement Regarding W5 Segment on Animal Testing

On Saturday March 11, 2017, the CTV program, W5, aired a segment about the treatment of animals in a scientific institution. The Executive Director of the Canadian Council on Animal Care (CCAC), Dr. Louise Desjardins, was interviewed for that broadcast in regard to the CCAC’s role in the ethics and care of animals in research, teaching, and testing in Canada.

In the lead up to the interview, producers disclosed to the CCAC that they were in possession of third party, hidden camera footage that they claimed was filmed in a CCAC-certified institution. The CCAC requested a copy of the video on several occasions so that it could be assessed by veterinarians and animal welfare experts who specialize in animal ethics and care in science. The CCAC was denied a copy of the video. W5 indicated that they did not have permission from the third party who took the hidden footage to provide it to the CCAC.

A special assessment visit of the institution in question has been organized and is currently being carried out in order to obtain all of the facts. The CCAC has a rigorous assessment and certification process comprised of four levels of oversight, that involves a local animal care committee, an assessment panel of volunteer experts led by a CCAC associate director of assessment, and the CCAC Assessment and Certification Committee, in addition to special assessment visits as needed.

The CCAC remains committed to continually advancing high standards of animal ethics and care that incorporate the principles of the Three Rs (replacement, reduction, and refinement). Since our inception, we have worked to ensure the ethical treatment of animals in science. Should you have any questions concerning the W5 segment or any other matter, do not hesitate to contact the CCAC directly.

About the CCAC

The Canadian Council on Animal Care (CCAC) is the national peer-review organization responsible for setting, maintaining, and overseeing the implementation of high standards for animal ethics and care in science. Created in 1968, the CCAC is an independent, non-profit organization, acting in the interests of the Canadian people. More than 2,000 volunteer experts, comprised of veterinarians, scientists with experience working with animals, community representatives, and other persons with technical specialties (e.g., health and safety experts, biostatisticians, ethicists, etc.), serve on more than 190 local animal care committees to help fulfill the CCAC’s mandate and deliver its programs in institutions across Canada.