Animal Care – EDUCATION

Guidelines for Faculty, TAs and Students

BMSC is committed to the humane and ethical care and use of animals and adheres to the principle that in order for animal use to be justifiable in scientific research and teaching, the research must have a reasonable expectation of providing a benefit to the health and welfare of humans or animals, or of advancing knowledge.

BMSC complies with Canadian Council on Animal Care Guidelines and Policies and with the Russell-Burch tenet of, “reduction, replacement and refinement”.

The BMSC Animal Care Committee (ACC) ensures that all animal users are informed of and comply with institutional animal care and use policies.

FACULTY – before your first field trip:

1. If you are using invertebrates (excluding cephalopods), please submit the invertebrate use form within one week of your planned collection activity.  Please also let Animal Care know if your activities are not covered on the general DFO permit we send you. Animal Care will provide an orientation in the first few days of classes regarding collection, care, return, and documentation of invertebrates that your course collects.

2. Vertebrate or Cephalopod AUP: If you are using vertebrates or cephalopods, you must complete and submit the Animal Use Protocol (AUP) forms by the deadline (see below) prior to the start of your course.  No collecting or animal use may occur prior to the approval of this AUP. Course instructors are asked to sign off on their approved AUPs upon arrival at BMSC. AUP form and Pedagogical Merit Form, and submit to the Animal Care Coordinator. Allow 60 days for AUP review and approval.

Any Instructor or TA working with vertebrates or cephalopods in teaching and research at BMSC must have completed the required CCAC approved Animal User Training – Training of Personnel Part 1 (theory) and Part 2 (practical) that complies or exceeds animal user training policies at their home institution. Certification and documentation of training must be submitted to the ACC with your AUP.  An on-line, five hour, course is available here: ‘Experimental Fish Animal User Training’.  This course covers certification for CCAC Part 1 Theory for fish and cephalopod users.

3. Animal Observation AUP: Field observation of animals with minimal to no disruption (CCAC COI A/B). If you plan to observe vertebrates in studies you must submit Animal Use Protocol (AUP) forms for animal observation. Possible examples: observational studies in which there is some disturbance to the animals but not to the point that the same individuals are repeatedly observed so as to habituate or otherwise modify their behavior; census or other surveys which disturb animals but which do not involve capture or marking individuals. Allow 60 days for AUP review and approval.

4. Freshwater or Terrestrial Vertebrates, and non-tidal waters Crustaceans and Molluscs AUP:  AUP and Pedagogical Merit forms must be submitted directly to the Animal Care Coordinator. Along with the Animal Use Protocol (AUP) forms and Pedagocical Merit form listed above, you must complete an application for BC, Ministry of FLNRORD permits. Allow 90 days for AUP review and approval.


Please contact the ACC at if you have any questions.

STUDENTS – before you start your research project:

Most student research projects must complete an amendment to the course AUP.  All projects involving animals (vertebrates or invertebrates) must be approved by the ACC before collections begin. Speak to your instructor, TA or UP coordinator for guidelines on how to accomplish this.

Refer to Standard Operating Procedures (SOP’s) for details of species husbandry and collection.

Animal Collection Reporting

BMSC is required by the CCAC and DFO to submit reports of all animals used and collected in research and teaching. All researchers, students and other animal users must report their collections to BMSC via the BMSC Biodiversity Database.

ALL animals removed from their environment count as a collection even if they are put back right away. Including additional notes/comments to your submissions are encouraged. This can include details such as time-of-day, water turbidity, method of capture, lost gear, abnormalities, injuries, foul-hooking, unplanned mortalities, etc.

Please download the excel file below, complete it and return it to

Or Download this Word form, complete, and return to the Animal Care Coordinator

Find the distribution of organisms, and more:

How to care for your animals:

For guidelines on species-specific methods of care, refer to:

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