How the Research Support Fund Contributes to Simon Fraser University’s Animal Care Services

SFU’s Animal Care Services provides veterinary services, personnel training and expertise in common laboratory methodologies, anesthesia, and surgical techniques for birds, rodents and fish.

The Government of Canada’s Research Support Fund (RSF) contributes significantly to the overall day-to-day operations at Simon Fraser University’s Animal Care Services (ACS).

A portion of the funding received from the RSF goes towards the salaries of the ACS staff, technicians and manager. The staff, technicians and manager are essential to the university, as they are responsible for maintaining the animal care facilities and promoting the highest levels of animal care, in addition to assisting all researchers at SFU who use animals for their research. The SFU faculties that benefit from the funding are: Faculty of Health Sciences; Faculty of Applied Sciences; Faculty of Environment; Faculty of Arts and Social Science; and the Faculty of Science.

ACS follows strict policies and guidelines to ensure the ethical, health and humane treatment of all animals used in teaching and research at SFU. These policies and standards are regulated by a national agency, the Canadian Council on Animal Care (CCAC), in addition to the university’s own policies and standards, such as the SFU Policy R20.03 Treatment of Animals in Research and Teaching, overseen by SFU’s Office of the Vice-President, Research and the University Animal Care Committee (UACC). 


“RSF funding allows ACS at SFU to implement the highest standards of care for animals used in research,” says Chris Kennedy, director, Animal Care Services, SFU.  “Our animal care staff not only provide expertise to researchers in various surgical and experimental procedures with animals, but also provide education, training and networking opportunities to support SFU’s research community in all aspects of animal ethics, care and use.”

Without the RSF, animal research at SFU would be compromised, and in some cases could not be conducted, as the office could not function properly and comply with the Canadian regulatory standards for animal research. RSF funding has contributed to both the technical training and continued education for ACS staff, as well as improvements to SFU’s animal research facilities. This has resulted in progressive change in the roles of the ACS staff from technical support, to providing real expertise in animal pre-operative, surgical and post-operative procedures — this has enhanced the opportunities for researchers to performing cutting-edge research. Facility improvements in the university’s aquatic, avian and mammalian facilities have modernized these units, therefore increasing research potential through superior animal housing, minimization of environmental variability and maximum flexibility and growth.

Learn more about SFU’s Animal Care Services.

About SFU's Animal Care Services

Animal Care Services (ACS) at Simon Fraser University is committed to providing faculty, staff and students with high quality, cost-effective research and teaching animal resources. In addition to suitable housing facilities and animal husbandry services for animals used in biomedical research, ACS provides veterinary services, personnel training and expertise in common laboratory methodologies, anaesthesia, and surgical techniques for rodents, birds and fish.

Some research that SFU conducts involves animals, and includes observational, behavioural, toxicological and physiological studies. Research on campus is carried out at one of our three facilities: the Animal Resources Centre (ARC), the Animal Care Facility (ACF) and the Alcan Aquatic Research Centre (Alcan). SFU researchers also conduct research in the field, from the coast of BC to locations around the world.