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Applying for animal ethics approval

Do I need to apply?

You need approval from the animal care committee (ACC) if you will be:

  • using animals or animal tissue for research or teaching
  • going into the field to observe or collect

You must apply for and receive ethical approval before you begin your study. You will also need to maintain approval during your study/data collection.

How to apply

Ready to submit a new animal use protocol (AUP)

Lab and field research AUPs

Please use RAIS to submit:

  • Animal-based research projects conducted in a lab environment (i.e., in Animal Care facilities and/or researcher lab facilities)
  • Animal-based research projects that will combine lab and field components
  • Animal-based research projects that will be fully based in field work


All Tri‐Council agencies (SSHRC, NSERC, CIHR) and many other organizations (e.g. MSFHR, The Arthritis Society, Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada) provide a peer review for scientific merit. If you are unsure whether your funding application has done so, please contact the animal ethics liaison.

The ORS will undertake a process of independent peer review. The policy associated with peer review for scientific merit is section 14.00: Policy RH8110 ‐ Research and Teaching Involving Animals.

Yes. Researchers should follow the same process of having their research ethically reviewed by the university’s ACC, regardless if it’s conducted in Canada.

The ACC is aware that conditions may vary from location to location and will work with the researcher to optimize best practices for performing research with animals outside of Canada.

Researchers should be aware that licensing requirements might vary from location to location. It is the researchers’ responsibility to ensure that all licensing, safety and other legal requirements are met before conducting their research.

The policy associated with collaborative research projects with other institutions involving animals is in sections 24.00‐26.00: Policy RH8110 ‐ Research and Teaching Involving Animals

This includes institutions both within and outside of Canada.


Teaching AUPs

To apply, you need to complete an AUP application and submit it to the animal ethics liaison. Contact your supervisor for assistance.


Expedited minor amendments

The Veterinary Director, Animal Care Services, can approve a minor amendment to an AUP at their discretion, on behalf of the Animal Care Committee. Amendments will be reported to the ACC chair and given final approval at the next ACC meeting.

Example changes

  • source of animal
  • location of animal accommodation or experimental area
  • addition of personnel
  • minor changes in procedures (e.g., tail vein injection to saphenous vein injection, change in anaesthetic drug or route of admonition, substitution of one non-invasive procedure for another, equally non-invasive procedure)
  • Minor change in animal numbers e.g., 10%

For lab and field research AUPs, RAIS is now equipped to support expedited amendments. 

For teaching AUPs, please continue to submit this form:  Expedited minor amendment form

ACC deadlines & meeting dates

Deadlines for applications
Received by 4:30 p.m.

Meeting dates
Friday, August 25, 2023 Friday, September 15, 2023
Friday, September 22, 2023 Friday, October 13, 2023
Friday, October 20, 2023 Friday, November 10, 2023
Friday, November 17, 2023 Friday, December 8, 2023
*Tuesday, January 2, 2024 Friday, January 19, 2024
Friday, January 19, 2024 Friday, February 9, 2024
Friday, February 16, 2024 Friday, March 8, 2024
Friday, March 22, 2024 Friday, April 12, 2024
Friday, April 19, 2024 Friday, May 10, 2024
Friday, May 24, 2024 Friday, June 14, 2024

*To accommodate Holiday closures

2023 Summer Interim Reviews: 

  • July 7, 2023 - Applications due by June 23rd 
  • August 11, 2023 - Applications due by July 28th 

Additional information: ACC Summer Interim Review process memo

Need help?

Email the animal ethics liaison for additional assistance.