Abstract # 13208 Event # 38:

Scheduled for Thursday, August 9, 2018 11:30 AM-11:45 AM: (Chula Vista ) Oral Presentation


EFFECTS OF CONTINUOUS AND INTERMITTENT SOCIAL CONTACT ON THE WELFARE OF RHESUS MACAQUES (MACACA MULATTA)

O. Pomerantz, D. L. Hannibal, A. M. Day, T. A. Ojakangas, H. L. Cook and A. Ardeshir
California National Primate Research Center University of California, Davis, One Shields Avenue, Davis, CA 95616, USA
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     Intermittent full-contact pairs (IP) of rhesus macaques alternate between single- and pair-housing. At the California National Primate Research Center, time-mated female breeders were intermittently paired to facilitate detection of their reproductive cycle. Some evidence suggests that animals housed in IP demonstrate inferior welfare to pairs maintained continuously in full contact (CP). We evaluated the ability to identify menses among CP pairs by comparing their conception rates to IP pairs. In addition, we assessed the effects of CP and IP conditions on the animals’ psychological welfare. Prior to the onset of breeding season, we identified two comparable sets of six established IP breeder pairs. We changed one set to CP while the other remained as IP and videotaped each pair for a total of 15 hours. Aggressive, affiliative, anxious and abnormal behaviors were recorded using one-zero scan sampling. We found comparable conception rates between CP females and the colony mean. Moreover, preliminary analysis revealed that animals were approximately 3 times more likely to express abnormal behaviors in the single housing condition in comparison to the paired condition (GLM, beta=1.36, p<0.001). These findings suggest that maintaining breeders as CP is not only feasible, but also promote the psychological welfare of rhesus macaques and is therefore more desirable.