FAQ: CCAC guidelines on: the care and use of fish in research, teaching and testing

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These Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) have been developed as a tool to assist investigators and members of animal care committees (ACCs) in the implementation of the CCAC guidelines on: the care and use of fish in research, teaching and testing.

The FAQs provide a generic response to the many comments and questions received by the CCAC during the development of the CCAC guidelines on: the care and use of fish in research, teaching and testing. Questions were received both as part of the three stages of review of the guidelines, and at workshops held across Canada on the subject of the fish guidelines.

If you do not find the answer to your question here, please contact the CCAC and we will be pleased to provide assistance. These FAQs will be updated regularly and will continue to reflect questions asked by ACCs and investigators in implementation of the CCAC guidelines on: the care and use of fish in research, teaching and testing.

  1. What species are covered by the guidelines?arrow
  2. Do the guidelines apply to field research?arrow
  3. Does “testing” include lethal testing? Regulatory tests have specified endpoints that may not be in agreement with the endpoints defined by the CCAC.arrow
  4. How do the guidelines deal with the wide diversity of fishes involved in research, teaching and testing?arrow
  5. What are ‘best practices’ and how can investigators and ACCs be sure that the most appropriate methods are used in the field?arrow
  6. Why do some guidelines contain ‘must’ and others contain ‘should’?arrow
  7. There is currently a debate in the scientific literature as to whether fish experience pain. How has this been addressed in these guidelines?arrow
  8. How are observational activities addressed?arrow
  9. What specialized training is required for working with fish? According to the guidelines, won’t fish handlers be required to do more training than those handling other animals used in the laboratory, such as mice and rats?arrow
  10. ‘Appropriate training’ is mentioned in the guidelines — is the determination of this left to the discretion of the investigator or the animal care committee?arrow
  11. Why are human safety concerns in the guidelines?arrow
  12. How can lone scientists working on fish, particularly those working at smaller institutions, comply with these guidelines? Implementation of these guidelines could prove quite costly.arrow