Things You Have to Know to Use Animals at
the University of Toronto DCM

At the University of Toronto, animals are recognized as creatures of great intrinsic value, remarkable complexity and inherent dignity. Animals are used in research only when essential. All researchers are obliged to ensure that the animals under their care do not suffer unnecessary pain or distress.

  1. All animals used in research, teaching or testing at the University of Toronto must be included in an approved and current Animal Use Protocol (AUP) on file with the University of Toronto Research Services. Copies of relevant protocols are also on file in the Division of Comparative Medicine. Animal Use Protocol forms and additional information can be found here.
  2. The Canadian Council on Animal Care (CCAC), which provides national regulatory standards, holds as one of the most basic tenets that animal use for research, teaching and testing be undertaken only after a careful examination of the potential value of this use. In particular, for all animal-based research projects, institutional animal care committees must ensure that ethical and scientific merit has been demonstrated. Please refer to the CCAC Policy on the Importance of Independent Peer Review of the Scientific Merit of Animal-Based Research Projects.
  3. Know who to contact for questions about:

    DCM Contact


    Animal Use Protocols Research Services
    Receptionist Front Desk
    Short Course DCM Office
    Animal Ordering Order Desk
    Animal Husbandry Assistant Director
    Veterinary Care Director
    Associate Director
    Status of Accounts Business Officer
  4. Use of Controlled Substances for anesthesia (Ketamine HCL) and post operative analgesia (Buprenorphine HCL). In order to use ketamine or other controlled substances for research purposes, investigators must submit an application to the Health Canada's Office of Controlled substances. The application form can be downloaded here. Please contact DCM veterinary staff for help completing this form.
  5. Be aware of occupational health program and policies.
  6. Follow DCM policies and procedures when working with animals in a DCM facility
  7. Be aware of the various laws and guidelines that affect animal use at the University of Toronto
    • Guidelines for the Use of Animals in Teaching
    • University of Toronto Policy on Survival Rodent Surgery
    • Animals for Research Act (Revised Statutes of Ontario, 1980 Chapter 22 and Regulations 16, 17, 18, 19 Revised Regulations of Ontario, 1980, November 1985)
    • Canadian Council on Animal Care guidelines including Guidelines on Endpoints
  8. Complete the DCM short course and attend the practical training module with the species that you will be working with.
  9. Take responsibility for humane care of the animals that you are working with by:
    • Choosing alternatives to live animals whenever possible
    • Being trained in proper animal handling
    • Providing for proper housing and behavioral needs of the animals
    • Following appropriate guidelines for the determination of endpoints
    • Knowing how to determine if the animal is approaching an endpoint
    • Utilizing appropriate anesthetics and analgesics
    • Use aseptic technique and proper procedures when performing surgery
    • Provide appropriate post-procedural care
    • Euthanize animals using approved methods AVMA Guidelines for the Euthanasia of Animals