Vertebrate Animals


Welcome to the world of animal research. Large numbers of students gain an understanding of living processes when they engage in inquiry-based, project-oriented studies involving biological experimentation with animals. These studies will lead you to respect all living things. Much valuable learning will occur as you study the laws, regulations, and procedures that govern experimental research involving animals.

We encourage student investigations of biological processes, while reminding you that these are subject to the same laws, ethics, and regulations as any other research.

All aspects of your project involving biological experimentation with animals must be within your ability and comprehension to undertake it in an ethical and responsible manner.

Research Plan

You must submit a Research Plan for Animals before you start your research. This plan must be reviewed by at least one person knowledgeable about ethics, preferably a member of the RSF Ethics Committee.. In a complex project, the research plan may also be submitted to the Youth Science Canada National Ethics Committee. Full instructions are given at the end of the form.

Replacement Reduction Refinement

Reduction is a concept that covers any strategy that will result in less animals being used to obtain the same amount of information, or in maximizing the information obtained per animal and thus limiting or avoiding the subsequent use of additional animals.

Refinement signifies the modification of any procedures that operate from the time a laboratory animal is born until its death, so as to minimize the pain and distress experienced by the animal, and to enhance its well-being.

Replacement refer to any experimental system which does not entail the use of a whole, living animal.

These concepts are based on the book The Principles of Humane Experimental Technique by W.M.S. Russell and R.L. Burch