Abstract # 1150 Event # 67:

Scheduled for Tuesday, June 27, 2006 10:00 AM-01:00 PM: Session 12 (Kama A) Symposium

SYMPOSIUM: The Potential Impact of Standardisation and Variation in Captive Primates

H. M. Buchanan-Smith1 and M. J. Prescott2
1University of Stirling, Department of Psychology, Stirling, Scotland FK9 4LA, United Kingdom, 2National Centre for the Replacement, Refinement and Reduction of Animals in Research
     In captive breeding programmes, the maintenance of genetic and behavioural variation is critical for successful conservation. However, in laboratories, housing and husbandry is often standardised. In this symposium we explore why standardisation and variation are promoted, how they are maintained, and the potential impact on conservation, reintroduction, captive breeding and laboratory science. For example, reintroduction programmes may benefit from a range of phenotypes which provide opportunities for social learning of successful behavioural adaptations, and the gene pool must be large enough to avoid inbreeding. At the other extreme, in laboratories, minimum standards are needed to ensure an acceptable level of animal welfare, and it is assumed that standardisation results in reduced variation in scientific output, use of fewer animals and increased validity of findings. Despite this rationale, there is great variation in rearing practices, housing, enrichment and training both among, and often within, facilities. In some cases, the consequences of the variations have been quantified and the impact upon the science is known, but in many cases the impact is not known. Participants will include those involved in reintroduction and captive breeding, as well as those conducting laboratory research. Recommendations for harmonisation (e.g. weaning policy), and techniques to promote variation (e.g. genetic breeding programmes), will be made for these contrasting situations, to ensure welfare and conservation potential is maximised and science is not compromised.