Abstract # 1033 Poster # 58:

Scheduled for Thursday, August 18, 2005 07:00 PM-09:00 PM: (Cambridge/Oxford Room) Poster Presentation

Empowerment and Validation: Employees of a Primate Colony Volunteer to Collect Morphometric Data to Validate a Body Condition Scoring System for Rhesus Monkeys

B. Rodello
California National Primate Research Center, UC Davis, Davis, CA 95616, USA
     By far the animal technicians working with non-human primates are dedicated to providing their charges a healthy, clean, and enriched environment. A sometimes overlooked aspect is their insight and desire to contribute to the betterment of all primates. An example is a group of technical staff at the California National Primate Research Center. To improve the health evaluation of primates and provide stronger animal models, our veterinarians recently established a system for assigning a body condition score for non-human primates using the rhesus monkey as a model. By volunteering their time and working with the veterinary staff, the group developed an ongoing database, measuring skin fold thickness, muscle mass circumference, weight, and crown rump length. Initially, this database provided an avenue of validation and refinement of this scoring system. The long-term effects can be two-fold. First, it can provide a tremendous database for future studies in a colony of nearly five thousand primates. Secondly, it can give the technical staff a much-needed avenue of input to the primate world. The technician staff at primate colonies is a tremendous resource to the investigator. No one spends more time with monkeys than these people and many are eager to contribute to growth and improvement of knowledge and compassion in the primate world.