Abstract # 13356 Poster # 163:

Scheduled for Friday, August 23, 2019 06:00 PM-08:00 PM: (Alumni Lounge) Poster Presentation


LIFE IS BETTER WITH FRIENDS: THE BENEFITS OF GROUP HOUSING CYNOMOLGUS MACAQUES (MACACA FASCICULARIS) DURING QUARANTINE

L. A. Bader, M. Janavaris, L. Houser, K. Prongay, C. Cullin, J. Sacha, K. Coleman and P. Kievit
ONPRC, 505 NW 185th Ave., Beaverton, OR 97006, USA
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     Quarantine practices can be stressful for monkeys transferring facilities. In many US primate facilities, monkeys are single housed during this time, which, along with move and quarantine itself, can be stressful. As a result, animals often lose weight or display stress related maladies, such as diarrhea. Because social housing is known to combat this stress, facilities are moving towards pair housing during quarantine. Although an improvement, these conditions can be stressful, particularly for animals group housed at their original location. We examined the feasibility of keeping 26 male Mauritius cynomolgus macaques (mean age=2.5 years) in indoor pen housing during quarantine. The monkeys were housed in one group prior to moving to the ONPRC. Upon arrival, they were housed in two indoor pens (n=12, 14; 150 square feet). We compared weight gain during quarantine of these animals with 15 male conspecifics (4.5 years old) housed in cages (single and pair-housed). Weights were measured at quarantine entrance and exit exams. The group-housed animals showed a more robust weight increase than the caged animals (Mann-Whitney U=362, p<0.001). Additionally, within the group-housed animals, there were no instances of diarrhea or aggression resulting in wounding, and animals readily took food items from the staff, indicating their comfort in their new environment. These positive indicators of well-being suggest that group housing is a viable option for quarantine.