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May 4, 2023

Dr. Craig Bihun Receives the 2023 Harry C. Rowsell Award

The Canadian Council on Animal Care (CCAC) is pleased to announce that Dr. Craig Bihun is this year's winner of the Harry C. Rowsell Award for Outstanding Service to the CCAC. Dr. Bihun is the Senior Veterinarian at the National Research Council Canada (NRC), overseeing the ethical care and use of animals across the organization. He also served as a consultant veterinarian to multiple academic and private institutions, in particular the Coley Pharmaceutical Group, which was later acquired by Pfizer. Dr. Bihun helped design and inaugurate their state-of-the-art animal care facility and oversaw its accreditation by the CCAC and the Association for Assessment and Accreditation of Laboratory Animal Care International.

Dr. Craig Bihun and Pierre Vereault
Dr. Craig Bihun receives the Harry C. Rowsell Award from Mr. Pierre Verreault

Dr. Bihun also chaired the NRC’s Joint Committee on Animal Care and spearheaded efforts for the NRC to sign a memorandum of understanding agreeing to participate in the CCAC program, the first Government of Canada department to do so. This led the way for other government departments to make similar declarations.

Dr. Bihun’s deep personal commitment to improving the welfare of animals in science is evidenced by the many hours he dedicated to the CCAC over the course of his career. He was not only a member of 16 institutional animal care committees but was also a member of the CCAC Board of Directors, the Assessment and Certification Committee, and the Public Affairs and Communications Committee, as well as a subject matter expert on many guidelines subcommittees, and a presenter at CCAC national workshops.

He also dedicated much of his time to training personnel in the field of laboratory animal research, both through teaching programs at the University of Guelph, St. Lawrence College, Algonquin College, and Vanier College, and through the hands-on training of many technical staff at the various institutions where he served as a consultant veterinarian.

Quick to lend a hand wherever he can, Dr. Bihun’s great impact on the welfare of animals in science can be felt within the CCAC community, the NRC, across the country, and around the world. The CCAC would like to thank him for his dedication, hard work, and support over the course of his career.

The Harry C. Rowsell Award for Outstanding Service to the CCAC was named for the CCAC's founding executive director who devoted his life to promoting optimal care for animals in Canadian science. Dr. Rowsell's deep personal commitment to the humane treatment of animals, and his belief in our ethical responsibility for their well-being, are evidenced through the many significant contributions he made during his career. In 1988, Dr. Rowsell was recognized as an Officer of the Order of Canada for his incalculable contribution to the establishment of ethically based animal research, spearheaded by the CCAC.

This year, the CCAC received a significant number of nominations for this award. We would like to acknowledge all of the nominees for their extraordinary contributions to the CCAC and for their steadfast commitment to the ethical care and use of animals in science.

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