Does the University of Waterloo require special training to conduct animal research?

How do I enrol in an animal research training course?

What resources and facilities does the University of Waterloo have for animal research?

What are the ethical responsibilities of the Principal Investigator?

Does the University of Waterloo have Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) for animal research?

How do I order animals for research and arrange housing?

How do I import donated animals coming from another institution?

What are the considerations when dealing with transgenic animals?

What are the considerations when dealing with polyclonal antibody production?

What do I need to do in order to conduct wildlife research?

Who do I contact if I need special equipment or procedures for my animal research?

How do I apply for a drug licence for controlled substances?

What is the process to follow if I want to use animal tissue in my research?

Does the University of Waterloo require special training to conduct animal research?

Waterloo has a number of training courses which are offered free of charge to researchers. Some are available in classroom settings and some are available online. Several courses are pre-requisites for others, for example, a theory course is usually a pre-requisite to the hands-on clinical skills course.

How do I enrol in an animal research training course?

To register for all animal research training courses, please contact the Office of Research Ethics. Once you have taken the mandatory animal training courses, you will be able to sign up for courses in myHRInfo.

When in myHRInfo enter the number of the course you are interested in from the list of available training sessions. You will then be able to see all of the scheduled sessions for the balance of the academic year. You will also be able to see the delivery mode (i.e., whether it is offered in a classroom environment or in an online environment). myHRInfo will send you an enrolment confirmation after you have enrolled into a session of a course. The Office of Research Ethics will update mYHRInfo upon your completion of the course.

In myHRInfo you will be able to print a training summary which shows all of the courses you have completed to date; including both safety and animal research courses. Please allow 48 hours for myHRInfo to be updated after completing a course. This summary is to be provided to the Principal Investigator, or Faculty Supervisor, as proof that you have completed the required training. The summary is also be included with the Animal Utilization Project Protocol (AUPP) when this is submitted for  Animal Care Committee (ACC) review. A certificate of completion can also be printed from myHRInfo.

Online courses are available through LEARN. To enrol in an online course contact the Office of Research Ethics using your uwaterloo e-mail. You need to provide your name, student or employee number, name of the Principal Investigator you are working with, and the number of the AUPP for which this training is required.

You will notice increasing numbers of new courses becoming available online to complement traditional classroom delivery modes. The Office of Research Ethics is planning to make most theory courses available online  and provide classroom sessions for clinical skills courses and tours which need to be delivered face-to-face.

What resources and facilities does the University of Waterloo have for animal research?

Waterloo has a new Central Animal Facility (CAF) and several satellite facilities, which provide housing, biosafety level 2 housing, surgery, procedure rooms, and research space staffed by registered laboratory animal technicians (RLAT). Our consulting veterinarians’ specialties are laboratory animal medicine, consultation on project design, surgery training techniques as well as animal health issues. Our aquatics facility for fish and amphibians is located on campus under the guidance of an experienced animal health technician who works with aquatic species.

A brochure that outlines the facilities, equipment, and pricing is available. If you would like a copy of this brochure contact Nancy Gibson, CAF Coordinator, and provide your name, title/student number, principal investigator/faculty member’s name, Waterloo e-mail address, and reason you need the information.

Does the University of Waterloo have Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) for animal research?

Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) are located within a secure SharePoint site which is a site that provides central storage and collaboration space for documents, information, and ideas.

Contact the Office of Research Ethics for permission and instructions to access the animal users Sharepoint site and provide your name, title/student number, e-mail address, and reason you need the information.

How do I order animals for research and arrange housing?

Once an Animal Utilization Project Proposal (AUPP) has been reviewed and approved by the Animal Care Committee (ACC), contact the Central Animal Facility (CAF) technicians at ext. 31919. Once details concerning your needs and the expected timing for the animals have been determined, an order can be placed with Purchasing (Procurement Services). Animals must be ordered 2 weeks ahead of arrival date and must be housed for a minimum of 7 days for acclimation post arrival. More detail is available in the Application process.

How do I import donated animals coming from another institution?

Researchers must read SOP IMPEXP 004 Importing Research Animals from non-commercial Suppliers and and complete the IMPEX 008: Importing Animals Request Form which includes a requirement to provide an up-to-date health status report from the supplier of the donated animals. The SOP and request form is available from the animal users Sharepoint site. The request form will be reviewed by the consulting veterinarian at Waterloo. If approved, arrangements can then be made to ship the animals directly to the Central Animal Facility (CAF). Contact Nancy Gibson, CAF Co-ordinator, Senior Animal Health Technician at ext. 31919.

What are the considerations when dealing with transgenic animals?

It is important that the full strain name of the animal and all phenotype characteristics are provided on the Tracking Form for Importing from non-Commercial Suppliers (F12). Please visit the animal users SharePoint site for the appropriate form. These are available in the Forms folder. Breeding colonies for transgenic animals can be created if necessary. Contact the Central Animal Facility (CAF) technicians at ext. 31919 for further information.

What are the considerations when dealing with polyclonal antibody production?

Please refer to the Canadian Council on Animal Care (CCAC) guideline on antibody production. Only SPF animals are used in polyclonal antibody production and all procedures are optimized to minimize animal pain and distress. Animals will be purchased and delivered according to appropriate SOPs including those which deal with the receipt of animals from an approved source, conditioning of the animals, husbandry of the animals, and feeding of the animals.  

Technical competence is required to conduct all procedures. Personnel involved with these procedures should ensure they have completed appropriate training. All necessary SOPs must be referenced and followed. The rationale for the specific adjuvant used must be given for both  primary and secondary immunizations including intervals. Procedure routes must be specifically justified and special approval obtained from the Animal Care Committee (ACC).

What do I need to do in order to conduct wildlife research?

Researchers need to complete and have an approved Animal Utilization Project Protocol (AUPP) before starting a research project involving wildlife. Some projects may require specialized equipment training as well as handling techniques. Researchers are asked to refer to the SOPs posted on the animal users Sharepoint site for commonly used procedures and equipment. Special permits may need to be obtained from sources such as Fisheries and Oceans Canada or Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources.

Can I use animals for teaching in the classroom?

Yes, with an approved Animal Utilization Project Protocol (AUPP). However a strong justification should be provided for the use of animals in the classroom which clearly indicates why other alternatives, such as computer simulations, are not sufficient. All teaching proposals need to be peer reviewed at the departmental level. Training is available for research assistants or lab demonstrators for animal handling techniques. Course information can be found in the Pre-submission and training section.

Who do I contact if I need special equipment or procedures for my animal research?

Contact the Central Animal Facility (CAF) animal health technicians at ext. 31919.

How do I apply for a drug licence for controlled substances?

An approved Animal Utilization Project Protocol (AUPP) is required before you can obtain a licence for a controlled drug. Health Canada regulations concerning “Controlled Substances” require the principal investigator apply for and obtain a licence which is specific to a particular protocol. Once received, the drug can only be used for the protocol mentioned in the licence by those personnel who have been specifically named on the licence. Keep in mind, the process to obtain a license from Health Canada can take up to 6 months.

What is the process to follow if I want to use animal tissue in my research?

Appropriate training and documentation must be completed to conduct research with animal tissue.

The application to be completed is in the research ethics system

Specific training must also be completed. Refer to the list of required training courses

Researchers need to complete AR0009-Basic Field and Tissue Theory on Desire to Learn. Contact OREAUPP@uwaterloo.ca to sign-up for this mandatory course.


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