The Canadian Council on Animal Care (CCAC) is a non-profit, autonomous and independent organisation which was established in 1968. The CCAC comprises 22 member organizations, whose presentatives include scientists, educators, veterinarians and delegates from industry and the animal welfare movement.

The CCAC conducts assessment visits to each participating institution using animals. Assessments are based on several documents, including the CCAC guidelines and policies.

In 1998, the Canadian Council on Animal Care published a report on the implementation of humane endpoints, called "Guidelines on choosing an appropriate endpoint in experiments using animals in research, teaching and testing", see document link in the right column.

The CCAC defines an endpoint as follows:

''The moment in the experiment at which pain and/or distress experienced by an investigational animal are ended, minimized or reduced by either killing it humanely, by discontinuing the painful procedure''.

General recommendations:

  • a minimum of two or three observations must be made daily;
  • if blood sampling is part of the research protocol the investigator should consider  analysis of the blood collected for hormonal indicators;
  • responsibilities and allocation of tasks must be clear;
  • conducting a pilot study to establish the observational criteria to be used to set  endpoints may be a very useful exercise, particularly at the onset of a research  program.

Specific recommend endpoints with cancer research:

  • the tumor mass should not proceed to the point where it significantly interferes with  normal bodily functions, or causes pain or distress due to its location (solid tumors);
  • weight loss exceeding 20% of the body weight of a similar normal animal (taking into  account the tumor mass);
  • ulceration/infection of the tumor site;
  • invasion of surrounding tissues by a localized tumor;
  • persistent self-induced trauma.