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UBC releases confidential animal research report

09/01/2012 05:54 EDT | Updated 11/01/2012 05:12 EDT
The University of British Columbia has released a highly critical and confidential report that outlines its work with lab animals, in an effort to provide greater transparency.

The 2010 report by the Canadian Council on Animal Care (CCAC) criticized UBC's 22 animal research centres, finding a lack of animal safety oversight and training.

It also found there were not enough veterinarians to oversee animal health, as well as inconsistent record keeping and physical deterioration of some facilities.

Helen Burt, UBC's Associate Vice President of Research, said since the report was written, three large new central facilities have been built.

"What we are doing is moving animal research out of our older facilities and into our brand new larger facilities on campus," she said.

Burt added that the university has invested $100 million over the last seven years in major improvements to animal research facilities.

Questions unanswered

But Brian Vince, of the group Stop UBC Animal Research, said the university still has a long way to go if transparency around animal research really is its goal.

“How come they won’t release veterinary care reports, lab inspection reports, necropsy reports, data on the number of animals they use by species, research protocols so we can determine exactly what they’re doing to animals?” Vince asked in an interview with CBC News on Friday.

Burt admitted that more can be done, but noted that four veterinarians have been added and 90 per cent of the report's recommendations have been implemented, she said.

"The CCAC requires a certificate of good animal practice, indicating that we are in full compliance. We have that certificate," she said.

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