Abstract # 13348 Event # 45:

Scheduled for Thursday, August 22, 2019 02:15 PM-02:30 PM: (Room 309) Symposium


APPLYING THE DELPHI CONSULTATION METHOD TO PRIMATE WELFARE ASSESSMENT

M. A. Truelove1 and M. C. Leach2
1Yerkes National Primate Research Center, Emory University, Atlanta, GA 30329, USA, 2Newcastle University, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK
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     To develop a valid, reliable, and practical welfare assessment tool, indices thought to reflect an animal’s welfare must be first be identified. Individuals may define and measure welfare differently based on their experiences; thus, using a group consensus approach such as the Delphi method can be a systematic way to identify generalizable welfare indices. Used successfully with farm animal species and laboratory mice, the Delphi consultation method is an iterative process of questionnaire administration and controlled feedback to a panel of experts who participate anonymously; their responses are used to reach a group consensus on a topic, as indicated by response stability between rounds. Through a two-round Delphi process, potential welfare indicators for Macaca (n=115), identified through a comprehensive literature search, were assessed; macaque experts agreed that 56 (49%) were valid, reliable, and feasible (or not) within the context of a hypothetical scenario involving a half-day welfare assessment. Stable group response and consensus about the validity, reliability, and feasibility of the proposed indicators (67.5% percentage agreement) were achieved by the completion of round two. Across rounds, experts agreed that self-harm behaviors and the provision of social enrichment are the most important indicators for assessing macaque welfare (W=0.703, p<0.001). Results provide an empirical basis upon which to start validation efforts of indices that can be integrated into assessment tools developed for macaques.