Incident at VIU Trout Facility

January 7, 2020 - 10:00am

On December 20 and 21, 2019, Vancouver Island University moved approximately 1,500 trout from VIU’s Nanaimo campus to Fisheries and Oceans Canada’s Pacific Biological Station, a Canadian Council on Animal Care (CCAC) approved facility, in accordance with the long-standing agreement for mutual aid between the two organizations. VIU’s Animal Care Committee (ACC) and DFO’s Pacific Region Animal Care Committee (PRACC) reviewed and approved the successful transfer, conducted due to security and mechanical issues at one of VIU’s Fisheries and Aquaculture facilities. The fish will be cared for at this facility until further notice while VIU addresses these issues.

On December 5, a series of errors (mechanical and human) led to the deaths of 377 fish housed at the VIU facility. VIU is taking this incident very seriously and is working in cooperation and close consultation with the CCAC to determine the path forward. VIU proactively decided to decommission the facility in order to resolve the issues. VIU’s Animal Care Committee (ACC) submitted its report along with the institutional responses to this incident to the CCAC and is awaiting a response. VIU is required to follow the CCAC guidelines to maintain its Certificate of Good Animal Practice.

Vancouver Island University is committed to the ethical and humane treatment of animals. As part of this commitment, the VIU Animal Care Committee oversees and ensures that all activities involving vertebrates are conducted in accordance with the guidelines set out by the Canadian Council of Animal Care. Reporting to the Provost and Vice-President, Academic, this committee includes VIU faculty, technicians, employees, students, community members and a veterinarian.  

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