Topic

Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) & Guidelines - Animal Ethics

Who is this for?

Anyone involved with animal research or teaching at the University of Toronto (U of T), including those in the following roles.

  • Professor, Faculty Member
  • Teaching Stream Faculty
  • Senior Research Associate, Research Associate
  • Postdoctoral Fellow
  • Student
  • Research Team Member
  • General U of T staff, including animal care staff

What do I need before I can begin?

A valid UTORid is required in order to access the Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) and Guidelines page.

Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs)

SOPs provide detailed, step-by-step descriptions/instructions of how to use equipment commonly found in animal facilities or how to perform common experimental techniques and husbandry procedures. SOPs are managed by the Animal Ethics & Compliance Unit (AECU), developed with input from facility staff, veterinarians and research staff, and are reviewed regularly.

How and When Do I use an SOP?

All SOPs relevant to your work need to be listed in your Animal Use Protocol (AUP). In order to make things simpler when writing your protocols, SOPs may be referenced in the project description, along with any planned deviations from the prescribed methods (Note: deviations need to be approved by the Local Animal Care Committee).

When performing a procedure that is described in an SOP, adhere to the step-by-step instructions in order to ensure the procedure is completed according to best practices and regulatory requirements. If you find that the SOP needs to be adapted in order to accommodate the way you carry out a procedure, please contact the AECU to determine if changes can be incorporated or describe the deviation in the applicable AUP(s).

Guidelines

Guidelines provide general standards, tips, techniques and best practices on a variety of animal use topics (e.g. breeding and colony management, animal use outside of the vivarium, prevention of exposure to lab animal allergens, etc.).

How do I use a Guideline?

Consult and refer to guidelines to ensure that you are following best practices in order to achieve optimal results. Guidelines are less specific than SOPs and usually provide several options or alternative ways to do things.  Additionally, there may be a specific SOP for each alternative method.

SOP or Guideline Unavailable

If you are unable to find an SOP or guideline that describes the procedure you are planning, please reach out to the AECU to determine if one needs to be created, or if the information can simply be described in the relevant AUP.

SOP Management

The Quality Assurance Analysts (QAAs) manage the SOP/Guideline database and are responsible for facilitating development, review and approval of these documents, with input from the ACCs and relevant stakeholders. Please refer to SOP #1.2.0 Creation and Management of Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) for more information.

List of SOPs and Guidelines

Document versions on this page are the most current; printed versions may be outdated.

General

Quality Control

Chemical, Radiation, and Biohazards

Animal Orders & Transportation

Animal Husbandry

Equipment Operation

Veterinary Care

Anesthesia

Surgery & Post-Operative Care

Technical Procedures

Euthanasia

Specific-Pathogen-Free (SPF) Plus

University Animal Care Committee Guidelines

Researchers’ Guide to the Regulations

My Research Animal Protocols (MRAP) Animal Counting Instructions

VPRI Role

  • Maintain the master list of SOPs & Guidelines
  • Facilitate the development, review, and approval of SOPs & Guidelines by ACCs and stakeholders

VPRI Contact

Staff

General Inquiries: Animal Ethics & Compliance Unit

Research Oversight & Compliance Office (ROCO)
(416) 946-3273

Staff

Michelle Martin

Quality Assurance Analyst - Animal
Research Oversight & Compliance Office (ROCO)
(416) 978-8414

Staff

Jennifer Lapierre

Animal Ethics and Compliance Manager
Research Oversight & Compliance Office (ROCO)
(416) 946-3608

Staff

Laura Brinen

Quality Assurance Analyst - Animal
Research Oversight & Compliance Office (ROCO)
(416) 978-2798

Other Resources

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