Abstract # 13151 Event # 161:

Scheduled for Saturday, August 11, 2018 09:45 AM-10:00 AM: (Chula Vista ) Oral Presentation


IMPROVING CAPTIVE MANAGEMENT OF NONHUMAN PRIMATES THROUGH INNOVATIVE CAGING DESIGN

D. M. Abney
Charles River Laboratories - Nevada, 6995 Longley Lane, Reno, NV 89511, USA
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     At Charles River in Reno, NV, we have had the unique opportunity to design two types of caging for our population of nonhuman primates. Between the years of 2011 – 2017, we have successfully implemented European Union (EU) standard caging and established an indoor group housing area for macaques (Macaca fascicularis). By designing caging that uses the natural behavior of the animal, we have improved efficiencies associated with their daily care and research activities. In the EU caging, we have trained over 200 macaques to enter a holding cage for study activities. Initially, the training took a minimum of 8 sessions to reach 88% of animals successfully entering the holding cage without manual restraint (n=100). By making minor changes to the cage design and refining training techniques, the success rate significantly improved to 90% within 4 sessions and 98% by 8 sessions (n=110) (P < 0.05). The group housing units were designed with a tunnel system to assist with daily husbandry activities. Of the 530 primates housed in 27 individual units, 100% have reliably entered the tunnel during the first training session due to cage design. This has allowed us to focus on other required training, such as vaginal swabs, more quickly. Understanding the animals’ natural behavior and incorporating it into caging design allows for improved efficiency for animal training, husbandry needs, and research activities.