Policy and Oversight


National level oversight

In Canada, the national agency that sets and maintains standards for the care and use of animals in research, teaching and testing is an non-government organization (NGO) called the Canadian Council on Animal Care (CCAC). The CCAC is funded to operate by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) and the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC). Any institution funded by these two government granting agencies is obligated to comply with CCAC guidelines. Any privately funded institution (not funded by CIHR or NSERC) can volunteer to be part of the CCAC program.


Any institution that is part of the CCAC program is routinely assessed by the CCAC to establish whether the institution is in compliance with CCAC guidelines. The CCAC assessment occur every 3-6 years.

The CCAC also publishes annual statistics on the use of animals in research, teaching, and testing in Canada. See Facts and Figures page.

For more information about the structure and function of the CCAC, visit their website.

Local level oversight

The CCAC mandates that each institution under their program has an institutional animal care committee (ACC) to act as a local oversight body. ACCs are responsible for reviewing and approving all research protocols that involve the use of live animals in research, teaching or testing. ACCs also conduct regular, local level visits to establish whether institutions are in compliance with CCAC guidelines.