The Research Support Fund of the Government of Canada is a program that provides funds to cover a portion of the costs associated with managing the research funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC), and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC). Research Support Fund grants are based on the funding received by researchers from the three federal agencies in the three most recent years for which data are available. The Bishop’s University Animal Care Committee mandate and its related activities are supported by the Research Support Fund.
Animal-based science can be practiced by wildlife, health and clinician researchers, to name a few. The Animal Care Committee is responsible for the ethical assessment of research and teaching protocols involving animal use at Bishop’s University and aims to safeguard the animals’ welfare. This committee includes members from BU, a representative from the community and a veterinarian. This provides a diversity of expertise and insight.
As of December 2019, the Animal Care Committee is pleased to welcome Dr. Eric Martineau as their new advisory veterinarian. Since 1996, he is based at the Clinique Vétérinaire Coaticook, where he specializes in treating cattle. His expertise will be an asset in the development of BU’s new program in Sustainable Agriculture and Food Systems. Dr. Martineau took a moment to answer our questions.
Why did you accept to work with BU Animal Care Committee?
Dr. Martineau: As a practicing veterinarian, I am very interested in research. Even as a student at McGill and Université de Montréal, I have always been involved in research projects. Currently, I am involved in research with the Sherbrooke Research and Development Center and have been a member of their Animal Care Committee for Dairy and Swine since 2003. I am interested in participating in BU’s Animal Care Committee for what is to be built in the near future, that is, the role of the animals as a part of the sustainable agriculture model that is currently being developed. I think this sustainable model is a key to feed people in the future and in respectful harmony with the animals.
Could you explain what is your role within the Animal Care Committee?
Dr. Martineau: Working with the 3 R’s (Replacement, Reduction, and Refinement), I am a guardian on behalf of animal well-being. My knowledge can help the people around the table to make sound decisions on research protocols involving animals, particularly when it comes to pain and stress management.
In your opinion, why is animal-based science important?
Dr. Martineau: Animals are part of our food chain. We have domesticated them for many centuries and need to live in harmony with them in order to produce food in a sustainable way. It’s very difficult to recreate models involving animals without using them to start with. Following the 3 R’s is the most helpful mechanism for developing sustainable models of well managed animal-based science experiments for tomorrow.
Bishop’s University is pleased to welcome Dr. Eric Martineau and thanks the Animal Care Committee for their commitment to animal welfare. Their evaluating work play a crucial role in research and teaching in our University. Animal-based science has helped in the development of treatments for a wide array of human diseases, in the comprehension of our natural world, and brought a better quality of life for many animals.
For more information on Faculty practicing animal-based science at BU:
Dr. Patrick Bergeron: https://bergeron-ecophysio.wixsite.com/b-lab