Research Ethics Office

When is ACUC Review Required?

Animal Use Requiring ACUC Review

The University is responsible for all research, teaching and testing involving living non-human vertebrates or invertebrates of Class Cephalopoda or higher conducted by its staff and students, whether the research is conducted at the University of elsewhere.  The University is also responsible for all research, teaching and testing using animals that takes place within its facilities or using its resources.


University staff and students participate in research collaborations and partnerships all over the world AND the University receives visiting students and scholars from a host of countries and institutions.

Despite many nuances that arise in this type of collaboration, in almost all cases a review must be done by one of the Animal Care and Use Committees at the University of Alberta.  This document outlines some potential scenarios that can arise in collaborative research, and how the ACUC will handle the review and approval.

Exceptions to the Requirement for ACUC Review

Some research or activities involving animals may not require submission of a full Animal Use Protocol for review by an Animal Care and Use Committee.  An Exceptions to ACUC Review Form must be completed for the following:  

  1. Research or teaching protocols that are Category A of invasiveness: 
    • Observation of live animals (where the research does not involve modification of the environment that might affect animal behaviour);
    • Invertebrate animal researcher (below Class Cephalopoda);
    • Work involving live isolates (eg. excreta/parasites collected from live animals, zebrafish embryos less than 96 hours old, chick embryos at less than 2/3 incubation);
    • Work involving animal derived tissues or cadavers (animals found dead or tissue obtained from animal euthanized under another AUP for that research but which can be used for another purpose).
  2. Other activities that involve interacting with animals (i.e., activities that are not research, teaching or testing) may also not require ethics review, but may involve other issues that need to be addressed. For example, the use of companion animals in a student club event, or the use of a therapy dog during exam time, bringing animals on campus for social events.  All activities with pets must be in compliance with the Pets on Campus Procedure (UAPPOL)

Submit the Exceptions to ACUC Review Form to the Research Ethics Office (, where it will be reviewed by the University Veterinarian.  Applicants must receive approval BEFORE the protocol/activity can be conducted. 

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