Research with Animals

More in this section

In a similar fashion to dealing with human subjects, BAU also has principles and procedures that govern all the experimentation that deal with animal subjects to ensure that animal care and handling in research are performed in accordance with the regulations and guidelines set by BAU.

The IRB at BAU has adopted the Institutional Animal Care and Use Guidelines to ensure the safety and welfare of experimental animals used for research and to ensure that the experiments will be performed to safeguard the rights, safety and wellbeing of the animal subjects. BAU’s IRB ensures the full review and evaluation of all ethical aspects of the research proposals it receives, before they are carried out to make sure they follow ethical guidelines.

The use of animals in research is acceptable only if it promises to contribute to understanding of fundamental biological principles, or to the development of knowledge that can reasonably be expected to benefit humans or animals. Animals should be used only if the researcher's best efforts to find an alternative have failed. Individuals using animals should employ the most humane methods on the smallest number of appropriate animals required to obtain valid information.

The following guidelines and principles are to be applied in conjunction with the Animal Welfare Act and Canadian Council on Animal Care's (CCAC) Guide to the Care and Use of Experimental Animals:

  • Animals should be maintained under conditions that provide for their physical comfort and psychological well-being.
  • Animals must not be exposed to unnecessary pain or distress. The experimental design must offer them every practicable safeguard. Cost and convenience must not take priority over the animal's physical and mental well-being.
  • The possible value of studies with animals should be supported by an expert opinion.
  • If the animal is to be subjected to pain or distress during the course of the experiment then the researcher must try to minimize both.
  • An animal observed to be experiencing severe, un-relievable pain, or discomfort should immediately be humanely killed, using a method providing initial rapid unconsciousness.
  • While non-recovery procedures involving anaesthetized animals, and studies involving no pain or distress are considered acceptable, the following experimental procedures inflict excessive pain and are thus unacceptable:
    1. Utilization of muscle relaxants or paralytics (curare and curare-like) alone, without anesthetics, during surgical procedures.
    2. Traumatizing procedures involving crushing, burning, striking or beating in un-anaesthetized animals.
  • Toxicological and biological testing studies, such as cancer research and infectious disease may have required continuation until the death of the animal. However, nowadays, other targets should be figured out to comply with the requirements of the study and the needs of the animal.
  • Physical restraint can be considered only if no other procedure can substitute for it. Restrained animals must receive adequate care and attention.
  • Painful experiments or multiple invasive procedures on animals should be done without pain using adequate anesthesia.