Animal Care

Guidelines for Faculty, TAs and Students

BMSC is committed to the humane and ethical care and use of animals and adheres to the principle that in order for animal use to be justifiable in scientific research and teaching, the research must have a reasonable expectation of providing a benefit to the health and welfare of humans or animals, or of advancing knowledge.

BMSC complies with Canadian Council on Animal Care Guidelines and Policies and with the Russell-Burch tenet of, “reduction, replacement and refinement”.

The BMSC Animal Care Committee (ACC) ensures that all animal users are informed of and comply with institutional animal care and use policies.

Any Instructor or TA working with vertebrates or cephalopods in teaching and research at BMSC must have completed the required CCAC approved Animal User Training – Training of Personnel Part 1 (theory) and Part 2 (practical) that complies or exceeds animal user training policies at their home institution. Certification and documentation of training must be submitted to the ACC with your AUP.  An on-line, five hour, course is available here: ‘Experimental Fish Animal User Training’.  This course covers certification for CCAC Part 1 Theory for fish and cephalopod users.

How to care for your animals:

Find the distribution of organisms, submit your collection records, and more:

FACULTY – before your first field trip:

1. Animal Use Protocol (AUP) forms must be submitted by the deadline (see below) prior to the start of your course.  No collecting or animal use may occur prior to the approval of this AUP. Course instructors are asked to sign off on their approved AUPs upon arrival at BMSC.

2. If you are using vertebrates or cephalopods, you must also complete the AUP form and Pedagogical Merit Form, and submit to the Animal Care Coordinator. Allow 60 days for AUP review and approval. AUP submission deadlines are March 1, May 1, July 1, and September 1. Invertebrate AUPs should be submitted no later than 30 days prior to the research start date.

AUP and Pedagogical Merit forms must be submitted directly to the Animal Care Coordinator.

AUP forms are currently being updated and will be updated on the website in December 2019. Please contact the ACC at if you have any questions.


STUDENTS – before you start your research project:

Most student research projects must complete an amendment to the course AUP.  All projects involving animals (vertebrates or invertebrates) must be approved by the ACC before collections begin. Speak to your instructor, TA or UP coordinator for guidelines on how to accomplish this.

Refer to Standard Operating Procedures (SOP’s) for details of species husbandry and collection.

Animal Observation AUP: Field observation of animals (vertebrate or invertebrate) with minimal to no disruption (CCAC COI A/B – see description on form.

After collecing your animals:

BMSC is required by the CCAC and DFO to submit reports of all animals used and collected in research and teaching. All researchers, students and other animal users must report their collections to BMSC via the BMSC Biodiversity Database.

…or download this pdf, complete, and return to the Animal Care Coordinator