Live Laboratory Animals

UNB Reference Number: 7834
Authorized by: E. Parr-Johnston, President,
Effective Date: (Original Policy Dec. 1/78)
Revised: January 1997
PDF version


To outline procedures related to the safe handling of live experimental or laboratory animals and associated materials.


All University personnel and students handling live laboratory animals on both campuses.


Live animals present possible sources of danger both directly (through bites and scratches) and indirectly (as potential carriers of infectious diseases).


  1. The Animal Care Committee on each campus is responsible for the quality of laboratory animal care at the University and for ensuring compliance with standards established by the Canadian Council on Animal Care (C.C.A.C.) for the care and use of experimental animals.
  2. All laboratory animals must be housed, handled and disposed of in accordance with the C.C.A.C. "Guidelines on Animal Care".
  3. Completed protocol forms for the use of laboratory animals in research or teaching must be submitted to the appropriate Animal Care Committee prior to:
    • starting new projects
    • changes in animal use procedures, or
    • expiry of previously approved applications.
  4. Safety requirements for the use of hazardous materials i.e. chemical carcinogens, infectious agents or radioisotopes in conjunction with animal experimentation are assessed as part of the review for permission to conduct experiments on animals. Proposed animal research involving the use of radioisotopes must have prior approval from the University Radiation Safety Committee.
  5. Consultation in methods for animal experimentation, proper animal handling, personal hygiene and appropriate personal protective equipment is provided to faculty, technical staff and students by Animal Care staff or the Committee, as required. Appropriate equipment and procedures must be used at all times when handling live animals. Inexperienced persons must seek the advice of animal attendants before handling any animals.
  6. Any person who has been bitten or scratched by an animal, or who has sustained a cut or scratch from contact with a cage or tank, is at risk of infection and must consult Animal Care staff or the Committee who will recommend appropriate measures. Depending upon the extent of the injury and the animal involved, the individual may be referred to a physician. Prior protection may be gained through appropriate immunization which is available from physicians. Immunization for tetanus (DPT-polio) is mandatory for full and part-time Animal Care staff and is highly recommended for all other regular animal users. Immunization for rabies (RIG) is recommended only for those animal users likely to come into contact with wild live animals or carcasses.
  7. Further information on the procedures for the use of live laboratory animals may be obtained from:
  • UNB Fredericton
    Animal Care Unit
  • UNB Saint John
    Animal Care Committee