Abstract # 13293 Event # 43:

Scheduled for Thursday, August 22, 2019 01:45 PM-02:00 PM: (Room 309) Symposium


THE ANIMAL ADVOCATE: TRAINING CARE STAFF FOR ASSESSING WELFARE

D. M. Abney
Charles River Laboratories, 6995 Longley Lane, Reno, NV 89511, USA
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     Caring for captive nonhuman primates is a rewarding career choice, but not all who embark on this career path have previous experience working with these animals. In particular, individuals fulfilling scientific, veterinary, technical, and husbandry roles may not come equipped with a background in primate health, behavior, or general welfare knowledge. It is essential for any staff working with primates or using them for research to understand how to assess the animal’s welfare because they are the animal’s advocate. Staff must be properly trained in observing clinical health, behavioral health, macroenvironments, and how to appropriately interact with the animals in their care. To fill this need, we have developed a robust training program that includes observations of clinical health, normal and abnormal behavioral overview, and demonstrate to staff how to conduct themselves when interacting with the animals to minimize any distress. Training is conducted by Behavioral Management staff and begins at the initiation of employment and includes classroom and animal room level training to give the staff a more comprehensive view of animal health and behavior. We believe training staff about animal welfare lays the foundation for quality care and promotes a culture of caring at the facility. Keeping staff trainings interesting, interactive, and informative facilitates learning and provides a deeper understanding of the amazing animals in our care.