Abstract # 13169 Event # 37:

Scheduled for Thursday, August 9, 2018 11:15 AM-11:30 AM: (Chula Vista ) Oral Presentation


IT TAKES A VILLAGE: A TEAM BASED APPROACH TO PAIR MAINTENANCE

D. H. Gottlieb, A. Heagerty and R. A. Wales
Oregon National Primate Research Center, 505 NW 185th Ave, Beaverton, OR 97006, USA
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     Even though it is widely accepted that group and pair housing is one of, if not the most important factor in welfare of cage housed non-human primates, it is an unfortunate reality that pairs are frequently separated in a laboratory environment. While social incompatibility is a common cause of pair separations, many pairs are separated due to colony management and research protocol requirements. This includes assignments of paired animals to disparate research projects, IACUC approved protocol-related single housing exemptions, and cage size limits for large individuals or pairs with offspring. At the Oregon National Primate Research Center (ONPRC) we have taken an institution-wide team-based approach to maintaining macaque pairs. Formalized meetings and planning between colony management, behavior, clinical, and research staff to determine long term social housing plans often starts before animals are paired, and in some cases before grants are submitted. Extensive documentation in animal health records and frequent communication between units ensures pairing choices are aligned with long-term plans, and individuals are strategically offered to research protocols that minimize later pair separations. Since these strategies were employed, the proportion of indoor animals singly-housed at the ONPRC decreased by 40%. In this talk we will discuss specific formalized actions taken across units at the ONPRC to both maintain pairs, and to strategically create pairs with the best chance of longevity.