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New funding for Animal Care

By Meaghan Whelan

The Vice-Presidents' Council has awarded Animal Care Services with $625,000 for important new equipment that will improve both operations and safety. The funding will be used to purchase new individually ventilated caging, a new rack washer and bottle filler.

Individually ventilated caging offers significant benefits to animals and their handlers. The ventilation system improves air quality by reducing the amount of allergens in the air, an occupational health and safety factor for the staff and users of the Health Sciences' animal facility. The new system will lead to a more efficient use of space and improved services for researchers, as the caging takes up less physical space. This will, in turn, free up current housing rooms for other purposes. This caging also reduces the frequency of animal handling, which improves breeding capacity and the general health of the animals. The rack washer and bottle filler, which replaces an older dated system, will also enhance operational efficiency and overall animal care.

Memorial's Animal Care Services undergoes accreditation by the Canadian Council on Animal Care (CCAC), the regulatory body that sets standards for the ethical use and care of animals in research.

"Ventilated caging is the industry standard," said Dr. Jennifer Keyte, director of Animal Care Services. "The acquisition and application of this new equipment represents a critical step in our ongoing efforts to improve our services and to follow the guidelines and standards set by the CCAC."

The Vice-Presidents' Council is responsible for aligning budget, operations and policy with the university's mandate and its strategic priorities. This includes decision making on how to invest incremental resources and reallocate existing resources most effectively.