CANADIAN COUNCIL ON ANIMAL CARE HIDES INFORMATION ABOUT RESEARCH ON ANIMALS FROM PUBLIC
In 1982, the Canadian Council on Animal Care (CCAC) incorporated as a non-profit, independent body to oversee research on animals throughout Canada. The CCAC is mostly funded by two federal agencies, the Canadian Institutes of Health Research and the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council. Despite that federal nexus, the CCAC claims it is exempt from public disclosure laws such as the Access to Information Act.
MEMBERSHIP OF THE CCAC
The CCAC is comprised of 22 member organizations. Only one, the Canadian Federation of Humane Societies, is an animal welfare group. The vast majority of CCAC members – such as Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Canada’s Research based Pharmaceutical Companies, Canadian Association for Laboratory Animal Science, and Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada – include interests that actively promote animal research and have much to gain from such research.
CCAC LACKS TEETH, TRANSPARENCY
There is no federal law, nor provincial law in British Columbia, to regulate animal experiments. While the CCAC has established guidelines for animal research, those guidelines are voluntary. From its website, the CCAC notes the creation of “a voluntary control program exercised by scientists in each institution, subject to peer review…” The CCAC can release reports of non-compliance to funding agencies but those agencies have the discretion to deny funding.