Animal Care Committee

The Saint Mary’s University Animal Care Committee (SMU ACC) is responsible for ensuring that animals used in research, teaching, or testing at SMU are treated ethically, and adheres to the highest standards for animal ethics and care in research and education in accordance with Canadian Council on Animal Care (CCAC) policies and guidelines.

No animal-based work under CCAC mandate can begin until approved by the SMU ACC. All SMU faculty, staff, and students planning animal-based research or teaching activities, including direct or indirect use of animals or animal tissues in laboratory or wild settings, should contact the ACC Coordinator to first determine if their work requires SMU ACC ethical review and approval (for more information, see CCAC Policy: Requirement for submitting an animal protocol). This should be done at least two months in advance of any planned work.

For more information, contact the ACC Coordinator at

Dr. Susan Bjornson                                                         Caila Henderson
Chair of the Animal Care Committee                                 Animal Care Committee Coordinator
Professor, Department of Biology                                      Atrium Building 210A
Science Building 538                                                         Phone:  902-491-6335
Phone: 902-496-8751                                              


The SMU ACC is subject to regular peer review by the CCAC, which involves an evaluation of the animal care and use program, the effectiveness of the ACC to oversee the program, the welfare of the animals in their charge, and the appropriateness of Saint Mary’s University animal facilities, practices, and procedures. Assessments are based on CCAC guidelines, policies, and associated documents, and are conducted by CCAC assessment panels.

SMU ACC Terms of Reference

SMU ACC Membership May 2024

The SMU ACC will hold meetings on the following dates from 12:00-2:00pm:

  • Friday February 23, 2024
  • Friday April 19, 2024
  • Friday June 14, 2024
  • Friday August 16, 2024
  • Friday October 25, 2024 (Annual General Meeting – no protocols reviewed)
  • Friday December 6, 2024

Deadlines for the submission of documents are as follows:

  • Peer reviewed submissions: two weeks prior to the meeting date
  • Non-peer reviewed submissions: four weeks prior to the meeting date

Any concerns regarding animals used in research and teaching at Saint Mary's University can be reported to the Associate Vice President, Research (Dr. Adam Sarty, and/or the ACC Coordinator ( The anonymity of persons reporting concerns will be maintained, and all reported concerns will be investigated.