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Animal Husbandry Technician - Prion Animal Labs, Department of Comparative Biology & Experimental Medicine, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine

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Job ID: 12858

Updated: June 14, 2017

Location: Foothills Campus

Position Overview

The Department of Comparative Biology & Experimental Medicine in the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine invites applications for an Animal Husbandry Technician . This Full-time Fixed Term position is for approximately 12 months (based on length of grant funding), with the possibility of extension.

Reporting to the Director of the Prion-Virology Animal Facility (PVAF), the Animal Husbandry Technician provides routine husbandry care of the research animals housed in the Prion-Virology Animal Facility and at other facilities that are part of the Health Sciences Animal Resources Centre (HSARC).  The Animal Husbandry Technician works as a member of the HSARC team, with accountabilities to the HSARC Director, or independently with the Calgary Prion Research Unit groups and members of the Snyder Institute for Chronic Diseases, as required.

The primary purpose of this position is to provide routine animal husbandry care for the animals housed within the Prion-Virology Animal Facility and at other facilities that are part of the HSARC. Routine husbandry care consists primarily of feeding and watering animals, cleaning cages, minor technical procedures, administration of medications, and general care of facilities.  The position may be required to work with multiple species of animals, ranging from rodents to farm animals. The position also monitors animals for changes in behaviour or other signs of illness.

Position Description

Summary of Key Responsibilities (job functions include but are not limited to):

  • Follows CCAC and University guidelines to ensure that animals are in a fed, clean, and safe state
  • Monitors changes in animal behaviour and when seeking problem-solving assistance
  • Ensures that facilities are clean and safe, and that faculty, students, staff, and other users are safe from physical or other harm caused by the teaching and research animals

Animal husbandry:

  • Provides husbandry duties for specialized areas of bio-containment level 2 (TSE standard)
  • Provides animal husbandry care for all species of laboratory animals used in research, which includes feeding, watering and changing cages following strict safety guidelines for prevention of exposure to disease
  • Performs daily health assessments on animals and submits health reports to veterinary staff
  • Administers prescribed treatments under direction of Facility Veterinarian, which may include: nursing care (supportive care such as heating blankets) and medical treatments (fluid administration, topical ointments, oral medications, injections, bandage changes, etc.)
  • Maintains animal rooms according to standard operating procedures and CCAC guidelines to ensure consistent quality of care
  • Receives and sets up incoming animals; responsible for shipping animals, supplies, or any other required materials to other locations as directed by the operations manager or other designated individuals
  • Keeps accurate records of animal colonies, including identification/tagging of new animals, weaning and recording of unscheduled deaths

Housekeeping and disposal of biohazardous materials:

  • Processes dirty animal caging, including cleaning and sterilizing of all cage parts
  • Operates autoclaves to process facility waste, following established protocols for proper containment and disposal of biohazardous waste
  • Provides custodial duties to maintain facility sanitation procedures
  • Monitors environmental conditions in animal housing facilities and inspects the condition of facilities and equipment for cleanliness and proper operation
  • Responsible for operation and up-keep of equipment e.g. biosafety cabinets, ventilated caging systems, autoclaves

Record keeping and administration:

  • Collaborates with research staff, and employs appropriate communication regarding facilities and equipment sanitation
  • Provides biomethods training to Investigators and laboratory personnel as required
  • Compiles annual testing records for critical equipment (autoclaves, biosafety cabinets, ventilated animal cages, etc)
  • Maintains stocks of food, water, bedding, enrichment, and other consumables

Qualifications / Requirements:

  • Evidence of an ability to work with animals (coming from previous relevant training programs or work experience) is required
  • Past animal husbandry care experience in a research or other relevant scientific/institutional setting, and with a variety of species, is considered an asset.  Relevant experience in a research/scientific/institutional setting includes:
    • Veterinary Clinics
    • University/Research Animal Care Facilities
  • Past animal husbandry care experience in non-research facilities may be considered in the absence of the above noted qualifications.  These non-research facilities could include:
    • An SPCA or other animal care organization
    • Zoos
    • Farm hand experience
  • Must be organized, responsible, and able to work independently.  Demonstrated ability to function as a productive team member is also necessary
  • Requires fluency in written and oral English, strong communication skills to facilitate interaction with facilities users, and good attention to detail to ensure standard operating procedures are followed
  • Must not have any known animal allergies that will interfere with their ability to perform the required tasks
  • Requires a high level of physical fitness, with the ability to lift 50lbs

Application Deadline:  May 26, 2017

We would like to thank all applicants in advance for submitting their resumes. Please note, only those candidates chosen to continue on through the selection process will be contacted.

Additional Information

This position is part of the AUPE bargaining unit, and falls under the Technical Job Family, Phase I.

To find out more about management and staff opportunities at the University of Calgary and all we have to offer, view our Management and Staff Careers website. For more information about UCVM visit Careers in the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine.

About the University of Calgary

The University of Calgary is Canada’s leading next-generation university – a living, growing and youthful institution that embraces change and opportunity with a can-do attitude. Located in the nation’s most enterprising city, the university is making tremendous progress on its Eyes High journey to be recognized as one of Canada’s top five research universities, grounded in innovative learning and teaching and fully integrated with the community it both serves and leads. The University of Calgary inspires and supports discovery, creativity and innovation across all disciplines. For more information, visit

The University of Calgary recognizes that a diverse staff/faculty benefits and enriches the work, learning and research experiences of the entire campus and greater community. We are committed to removing barriers that have been historically encountered by some people in our society. We strive to recruit individuals who will further enhance our diversity and will support their professional success while they are here. We encourage all qualified applicants to apply, however preference will be given to Canadian citizens and permanent residents of Canada.


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