Research ethics and safety for animal subjects

Any research or study conducted at UNBC facilities (including affiliated research facilities) or undertaken by persons connected to UNBC involving animals or biohazardous materials must be reviewed and approved by the appropriate board or committee, in accordance with UNBC policies and procedures. All researchers are expected to familiarize themselves with UNBC policies and procedures relating to research ethics.

Do I need animal ethics approval?

ACUC forms

Research and teaching involving animals

Any research or teaching conducted under the auspices of UNBC involving the use of animals (including fish and invertebrates) must conform to the UNBC Policy on Animal Care and Use and must have the prior approval of the UNBC Animal Care and Use Committee.

UNBC policy on animal care and use

Animal Care and Use Committee (ACUC)

The ACUC is responsible for ensuring University-wide understanding of, and compliance with, all applicable external and internal requirements. Prior to commencement of research and teaching activities involving the use of animals, the ACUC must review and approve the activities.

Download more information about the ACUC’s list of members and terms of reference here:

ACUC membership

Terms of reference

Upcoming dates for submission of applications for new protocols, renewals or amendments are as follows:

  • Monday, January 8, 2024
  • Friday, March 1, 2024
  • Monday, April 22, 2024
  • Monday, September 2, 2024
  • Friday, November 1, 2024


UNBC offers three online introductory courses in animal care and use for research. All researchers/students using animals in their research must complete either Course I (Introduction to Laboratory Animal Research) or Course III (Introduction to Using Fish and Wildlife in Research) before any hands on training begins. Once Course I or III has successfully been completed, those researchers/students who will be anaesthetizing or doing surgery are also required to complete Course II (Introduction to Anesthesia and Surgery).

It is the responsibility of the Principal Investigator to ensure researchers/students are registered for the appropriate courses before they start using animals. Please contact if you want more information, or want to enroll in a course.

Health and safety related to animal care

All staff, faculty and students working with research animals must complete the medical history questionnaire form.  A completed form must be submitted to before any work with animals can be started.

Standard operating procedures

UNBC has developed standard operating procedures (SOP), that have been approved by the UNBC ACUC in compliance with Canadian Council on Animal Care standards, to streamline the protocol writing process for faculty. Please click below for a list of the SOP's and email if you would like to obtain any copies.

ACUC standard operating procedures (SOP)