Canadian Legislation and Policies
Under the Constitution Act 1867, the federal government does not have the jurisdiction to legislate experiments involving animals. Animal experimentation falls, instead, under provincial jurisdiction. However, there are some areas in which the federal government has influence over animal-based science:
- Sections 444 to 447 of the Criminal Code of Canada protects animals (in general) from cruelty, abuse, and neglect.
- The Health of Animals Act (1990) and its regulations aim primarily to protect Canadian livestock from a variety of infectious diseases that would threaten both the health of the animals and people, and Canadian trade in livestock with other countries.
- CCAC certification is a condition for all institutions that receive funding from the federal granting agencies (Canadian Institutes for Health Research [CIHR] and the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council [NSERC]) for animal-based projects. (See the Agreement on the Administration of Agency Grants and Awards by Research, Section 3.5 "Research Involving Animals").
- Clause A9015C of the Public Works Standard Acquisition Clauses and Conditions Manual imposes conditions related to the care of research animals in all federal government-awarded contracts, including the requirement for the institution involved to hold a CCAC Certificate of GAP – Good Animal Practice®.
- The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) has a number of conditions in regard to the handling of animals:
- The Requirements for Non-Human Primates Imported into Canada state that “the importing laboratory must demonstrate that they are a laboratory currently in good standing with the Canadian Council on Animal Care (CCAC)”.
- The Veterinary Biologics Guideline 3.11E - Guideline for Inspection of Veterinary Biologics Manufacturers and Importers requires that all research facilities comply with the CCAC Guide to the Care and Use of Experimental Animals and that “animal experiments are done under appropriate veterinary supervision, and in compliance with Health Canada & CCAC guidelines”.
- The Containment Standards for Facilities Handling Aquatic Animal Pathogens - First Edition state that CCAC requirements must be followed in both the Physical Requirements for Aquatic Containment Facilities, and the Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC) sections of the document, and refers readers to the CCAC guidelines on: the care and use of fish in research, teaching and testing.
The National Research Council Canada - Industrial Research Assistance Program (NRC-IRAP) provides financial support to qualified small and medium-sized enterprises to help them undertake technology innovation. To meet the certification expectations set by the CCAC, NRC has established animal care committees for its own laboratories and for IRAP, as per these terms of reference.