Animal care and use program

Yukon University (YukonU) 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 faculty, staff, students and affiliates that use of animals in teaching 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 certified by the Canadian Council on Animal Care as being in accordance with standards of GAP - Good Animal Practice®.  The CCAC assesses the University's animal care and use program every three years. The assessment is done by CCAC panels that include scientists, veterinarians and community representatives.  The panel inspects and reviews  animal research and any housing facilities with detailed reviews of animal use protocols, veterinarian reports and Animal Care Committee meeting documentation. Yukon University Animal Care and Use program had a virtual assessment conducted on June 8, 2021.  As of June 29, 2022, CCAC has certified that the YukonU ethical animal care and use program is in accordance with the standards of GAP-Good Animal Practice®.

The Animal Care Committee (ACC) appointed by, and accountable to, the Associate Vice-President Research, serves to ensure YukonU meets all regulatory requirements. The ACC conduct ethical reviews and monitors approved animal use protocols for activities involving animals in research and teaching (including field studies). 

Yukon University Animal Care Committee (ACC) is seeking members

The YukonU Animal Care Committee is currently recruiting members. Your involvement would require a commitment of approximately 1-2 hours/month.  The ACC meets 3 to 4 times annually and is responsible for ensuring the ethical use of animals for University research or teaching activities in compliance with the guidelines and policies of the Canadian Council on Animal Care. Meetings are held during regular work hours and are typically 1 – 2 hours in duration. We are recruiting for the following positions.

1. Community Member

The role of a community representative is to participate actively in decision-making on community member posterthe 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".  Additional information about ACC members here. Please forward your expressions of interest with CV or resume and two personal references to the Animal Care Coordinator: Dr. Valoree Walker at vwalker@yukonu.ca.  


2. Student Representative

ACC student rep poster
Click on poster for details

We are seeking a student representative to serve as a volunteer member. 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. The position requires a commitment of approximately 1-2 hours/month.  Meetings are held during regular work hours and are typically 2 hours in duration. This is a 1 year term with possibility for renewal. General criteria for position includes:

  • be a student enrolled in full time studies at Yukon University
  • have an interest in animal care and welfare.
  • able to attend all ACC meetings
  • able to respect confidentiality of ACC matters.

Student positions are 1 year terms with possibility for renewal. More details about this YukonU student position here. Please forward your expressions of interest with CV or resume and a letter of support from a University instructor to the Research Ethics Coordinator: Dr. Valoree Walker at vwalker@yukonu.ca.


Occupational Health and Safety for Activities Involving Animals

Activities involving the care and use of animals in research and teaching involve particular health and safety risks not normally encountered in other activities. Individuals working with animals risk exposure to physical, chemical and biological hazards.  All animal care and use, including laboratory and field studies require occupational health and safety program. 

The degree of risk depends on:

  1. the nature of contact (direct or indirect) with animals, their tissues, excreta, body fluids, hair, animal cages, dander and
  2. the species involved

Occupational health and safety guidelines provide information and requirements for working safely with animals in the course of research and teaching.  

YukonU OH&S animal activities

This information should help you to understand:

  • Roles and responsibilities
  • Physical Hazards associated with animal care and use
  • Animal behaviour and ways animals react or defend themselves, if a procedure causes pain, or they perceive their safety to be threatened;
  • Relevant aspects of safe handling and performance of manipulations;
  • Procedure for reporting animal related injuries;
  • Proper waste disposal procedures;
  • Zoonoses - recognize examples of animal infections that can be transmitted to humans;

Mandatory training is required for anyone planning activities involving animals for research and teaching.  This training includes a module addressing health and safety requirements.