Animal care

Yukon University is committed to providing humane treatment and care of animals in accordance with the standards and principles established by the Canadian Council on Animal Care (CCAC). These standards and principles apply to all uses of animals in teaching, testing and research. There are important responsibilities:

  • to ensure that good science is conducted
  • to meet ethical responsibilities for ensuring that every animal is treated humanely and not subjected to unnecessary pain or distress, and;
  • to work within the acceptable standards for experimental animal care and use

The CCAC program is based on scientific peer review, policy making, and responsibility at the institutional level, and they monitor compliance through their assessment program. Yukon University holds the CCAC Certificate of Good Animal Practice, indicating that it is in compliance with these national standards set by the CCAC. For projects funded by NSERC, SSHRC and CIHR, the University also complies with the conditions of the Agreement on the Administration of Agency Grants and Awards by Research Institutions.

Yukon University is currently certified by the Canadian Council on Animal Care as being in accordance with standards of GAP - Good Animal Practice®.

All research and teaching activities involving animals requires ACC approval prior to the start of research as per University policy.

Yukon University ACC is seeking a community member!ACC community member poster

The position requires a commitment of approximately 2-3 hours/month.  The ACC meets 3 to 4 times annually and is responsible for ensuring the ethical use of animals in compliance with the guidelines and policies of the Canadian Council on Animal Care.  Meetings are held during regular work hours and are typically 2 hours in duration. The role of a community representative is to participate actively in decision-making on the care and use of animals, by

  • representing community interests, opinions and concerns regarding animal-based research and teaching activities of YukonU
  • working with the members of an institution and its Animal Care Committee to ensure good animal care and use for research and teaching activities
  • providing an external, community perspective to scientific institutions and to the CCAC; and
  • helping identify and address the public's opinions and concerns regarding the use of  animals for research and teaching

This is a 2 year term with possibility for renewal. More details about this YukonU volunteer position here or review the Canadian Council on Animal Care "Manual for Community Representatives.   Please forward your expressions of interest with CV or resume and two personal references to the Animal Care Coordinator: Dr. Valoree Walker at Deadline to apply is Friday April 9, 2021.



Policy requires all animal users submit a protocol form to the Animal Care Committee for review and approval.  This must be submitted and approved before:

  • any animal use in teaching, testing or research begins
  • the release of funds (in the case of funded research)
  • any animals are acquired, held or used


The CCAC has a number of resource documents available on their website. The following are examples of resources that support activities at Yukon University. 


Animal care and use training

All personnel involved in animal-based research and teaching must be competent and adequately trained in the principles of animal ethics and care. All students, staff and faculty who have no previous experience in animal care are required to take mandatory training prior to conducting research or teaching.

The Canadian Council on Animal Care (CCAC) provides training events (national workshops and webinars) and training modules.

Access to the CCAC training modules available at

The Institutional Animal User Training program is provided through Research Services. You should contact the Research Ethics Office for more information on training resources and determining requirements.

Animal use forms

Applications must be received in full to be presented to the Animal Care Committee (ACC) for review. Complete the appropriate form below and submit it to the ACC coordinator, Valoree Walker.

Pedagogical Merit Review

In compliance with the Canadian Council on Animal Care (CCAC) requirements, a pedagogical merit assessment must be completed for course work that involves animal-based activities. This is to determine whether a proposal for the use of animals in teaching is essential to achieving successful learning outcomes or whether replacement alternatives could be (partially or completely) used. This must be completed prior to the Animal Use Protocol (AUP) review by the YukonU Animal Care Committee.

CCAC Policy: Pedagogical Merit of live animal-based teaching and training

CCAC FAQs: Pedagogical Merit of Live Animal-Based Teaching and Training (July 2020)

Scientific Merit Review

Research that involves the use of animals requires evidence of scientific merit before they can be considered for approval by the Yukon University Animal Care Committee. When an application submitted to the ACC has not been reviewed and/or funded by a peer reviewed grant competition, an independent review must be solicited by the Research Services Office. Researchers must complete a Study Summary for Scientific Merit Review and may recommend two possible experts in the field as potential reviewers.  The ACC review can only proceed once two favorable scientific merit reviews are received.

Scientific Merit Review - Researcher Summary Form

Scientific Merit Review - Reviewer Form

Additional Information

CCAC Categories of Invasiveness - Wildlife

Animal Care Committee

ACC Responsibilities

The Animal Care Committee works to promote animal welfare and allay some of the public concerns for animal experimentation by ensuring:

  • the adequate care of animals in all stages of life
  • veterinary assistance in the case of sickness, injury or elective procedures
  • regular site visits are undertaken
  • each project is found to have scientific merit through independent peer review
  • the establishment and implementation of procedures corresponding with current veterinary standards

The Animal Care Committee has the responsibility to guarantee that no animal protocols move forward without prior approval. This involves:

  • providing all ACC members and animal users with access to CCAC guidelines
  • assisting animal users in completing and submitting the appropriate protocol form
  • approving and documenting all modifications to approved protocols before they are implemented
  • annually reviewing all on-going protocols
  • maintaining an appropriate appeal process
  • documenting and attaching all ACC discussions and decisions to the protocol
  • YukonU ACC Terms of Reference

Membership Terms

The University Animal Care Committee includes representation from the following areas:

  • two (2) Faculty or staff members and one alternate with experience in animal care and use
  • one (1) veterinarian experienced in experimental animal care and use
  • one (1) institutional member who normal activities, past and present, do not depend on or involve animal use for research, teaching or testing
  • one (1) representative from Occupational Health and Safety
  • one (1) student representative
  • one (1) or two (2) community representatives, who have no affiliation with the University and who has not been involved in animal use for research, teaching or testing.
  • University animal facility technician or manager
  • ACC Coordinator (ex officio)
  • others as deemed appropriate – these individuals may be asked to review protocols as the need arises.

ACC authority

The Animal Care Committee has the authority to:

  • approve, decline or request modifications to animal use in teaching, testing or research
  • stop any objectionable procedure
  • immediately stop any use of animals that deviates from the approved use
  • have an animal killed humanely if deemed necessary
  • Post-Approval Monitoring Program

This describes the Yukon University Post-Approval Monitoring (PAM) program to monitor the work with animals in Animal Use Protocols (AUP) following Animal Care Committee (ACC) approval. This program includes facility site visits when procedures are being performed, evaluation of document and record keeping, a comparison of the actual activities being performed and those that are approved on the protocol, and the use of endpoint monitoring, Annual Renewals and Facility Assessments.

Additional Details: The Animal Care Committee And the Role of its Members (CCAC document, March 2021)

Committee Membership 2020-21

  • Dr. Tara Stehelin, Chair
  • Dr. Katie Aitken
  • Dr. Scott Gilbert
  • Jennifer Moorlag
  • Maciej Stetkiewicz (Health and Safety)
  • Julie Kerr (Community member)
  • Elise Brown-Dussault (Student member)
  • Dr. Jane Harms (Veterinarian)
  • Dr. Mary Vanderkop (Veterinarian)
  • Dr. Valoree Walker (Animal Care Coordinator)

Policies and regulations
Yukon University

The Canadian Council on Animal Care is the National Peer Review agency responsible for setting and maintaining standards for the care and use of animals in research, teaching and testing throughout Canada.

Canadian Legislation and Policies

Meeting dates and protocol submission deadlines

The Committee will meet at least 3 times per year.  Animal Use Protocol submissions should be submitted at least 2 weeks prior to a scheduled meeting date. The following are scheduled meeting dates.

  • December 17, 2020
  • January 29, 2021
  • March 12, 2021
  • March 26, 2021
  • April 23, 2021

For more information about meetings and deadlines for protocol submissions contact the ACC Coordinator


Contact us

You can direct questions or concerns about animal care and use requirements to the ACC Coordinator Dr. Valoree Walker, the ACC Chair Dr. Tara Stehelin or the YukonU ACC Veterinarian Dr. Jane Harms or Dr. Mary Vanderkop.

ACC Coordinator

Dr. Valoree Walker

Research Ethics Coordinator

YukonU Research Centre


ACC Chair

Dr. Tara Stehelin

Instructor, Biology/Coordinator, Renewable Resources Management Program

School of Science
Applied Science and Management


Dr. Jane Harms
YukonU ACC Veterinarian
Program Veterinarian, Yukon Government
Department of Environment
Animal Health Unit

Dr. Mary Vanderkop
YukonU ACC Veterinarian (April 2021 - March 2022)
Chief Veterinary Officer
Department of Environment
Animal Health Unit