Animals at U of T


In 2021, a total of 159,803 animals were used in science at U of T. Most of these animals were rodents or fish, representing 89.1 per cent of all animal use.  

Animal type Number Percentage
Rodents 116,855  73.1% 
Fish  25,526  16.0% 
Amphibians and reptiles  16,142  10.1% 
Birds  202  0.1%
Other mammals  1,078   0.7%
Total 159,803  100%


  • 80.1 per cent of the animal use at U of T is fundamental science research related to advance further our understanding in fields such as biology, psychology, biochemistry, physiology or pharmacology. 

  • 15.1 per cent is medical and veterinary research to discover treatments for diseases to improve health outcomes for both humans and animals.  

  • 3.4 per cent of animals are assigned to breeding.  

  • 1.4 per cent of use is split between the development of products or appliances for human and veterinary medicine and teaching/training purposes.  

Researchers also conduct fieldwork where animals are observed in their natural habitat. Fieldwork research involving animals has the same rigorous approval and oversight processes.  


Animal facilities at the University of Toronto

The University of Toronto has purpose-built facilities that meet or exceed the strict requirements of the Canadian Council on Animal Care and the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs. These include specifications related to space requirements, facility security, ventilation, temperature control, lighting, humidity, noise and cleanliness.

U of T provides environments that enable animals to engage in their normal activities. This includes socially housing animals with other compatible animals; providing adequate space to play, rear and climb; providing materials to build nests and shelters, and objects to manipulate and chew. The Local Animal Care Committees are responsible for regularly reviewing and approving all aspects of the environments in which animals are housed or used.