Picture of a tissue scan

Institutional Oversight

Western’s Animal Ethics and Care Program (AECP) oversees research involving animals by Western faculty and students. It ensures the highest quality of animal welfare and research conduct while supporting individuals who work with animals in research and teaching in academic and clinical settings. This program is supported by highly trained and licensed veterinarians, veterinary technicians and animal care technicians, as well as dedicated faculty, staff and community volunteers who form the Animal Care Committee (ACC) in their role to oversee the ethical use of animals across the city. Western’s AECP supports and follows national and provincial guidelines and legislation as set out by the Canadian Council on Animal Care and Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs.

At Western, the ACC ensures that researchers adhere to mandatory guidelines set by the Canadian Council on Animal Care. This committee comprises animal user and non-animal user researchers, volunteers from Western and the community, and staff dedicated to optimal animal care.

Following approval of an Animal Use Protocol, the Post-Approval Monitoring program ensures adherence to the protocol over the course of the study.

Provincial Oversight

The Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA) ensures the highest levels of animal health and welfare through regular inspection and monitoring of animal housing facilities. Failure to adhere to OMAFRA regulations and guidelines can lead to remedial actions and/or sanctions.

National Oversight

The Canadian Council for Animal Care (CCAC) is a national body that sets, maintains and oversees the implementation of animal-based research and ethical processes. Through regular inspections and certification processes the CCAC ensures the highest levels of animal care and ethical research. CCAC certification is a prerequisite for federal funding involving animal-based research.

Agencies that provide grant funding for research projects must ensure financial resources support impactful research performed under ethical and responsible conditions. 

The Canadian criminal code includes cruelty to animals as an indictable offense.

Reporting Concerns

Individuals may anonymously report any concern regarding animal care or research practice.