and Policies


The CCAC publishes guidelines documents on the ethical use and care of animals in science. All CCAC guidelines are based on expert peer advice and current interpretation of scientific evidence, and have undergone extensive peer review. For details on how CCAC guidelines are developed, please see Development of Peer-Based Guidelines.

Guidelines Documents

The guidelines contained within the Guide to Care and Use of Experimental Animals, vol 1, 2nd edition (1993) are currently being revised. As the guidelines are updated, they will be removed from this Guide and the new guidelines will be posted on the CCAC website under the appropriate heading. Sections still in use are listed within the Guide.

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For information on other topics, see the CCAC's Guide to the Care and Use of Experimental Animals, vol.2pointer


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Application of CCAC Guidelines

Assessments of institutional animal care and use programs are based on CCAC guidelines documents, CCAC policy statements, and other relevant documents. Additional information provided alongside guidelines documents, such as species-specific recommendations and information provided on the CCAC Three Rs Microsite, is intended to support the implementation of the guidelines but is not used as a basis for recommendations made in CCAC assessment reports.

Interpretation of ‘Must’ and ‘Should’ in Guidelines Documents

Guidelines are intended to provide assistance in the implementation of best practices and the achievement of Russell and Burch’s Three Rs for use of animals in science. Throughout CCAC guidelines, the term ‘should’ is used to indicate an obligation, for which any exceptions must be justified to, and approved by, an animal care committee. The term ‘must’ is used for mandatory requirements. (CCAC Standards Committee, February 26, 2014)