Abstract # 13406 Event # 44:

Scheduled for Thursday, August 22, 2019 02:00 PM-02:15 PM: (Room 309) Symposium


IS MOTOR STEREOTYPIC BEHAVIOR AN INDICATOR OF CUMULATIVE WELFARE IN LABORATORY RHESUS MACAQUES (MACACA MULATTA)?

A. Polanco1, B. McCowan2,3 and G. Mason1
1Department of Animal Biosciences, University of Guelph, Guelph, Ontario N1G 2W1, USA, 2Neuroscience & Behavior Unit, California National Primate Research Center, University of California Davis, 3Population Health & Reproduction, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of California Davis
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Over their lives, laboratory monkeys experience many welfare-relevant events. We analysed California National Primate Research Center (CNPRC) data collected from 1076 rhesus macaques, to test the hypothesis that motor stereotypic behavior (MSB) indicates negative cumulative lifetime welfare. This hypothesis predicts that MSB levels are explained by events a priori determined to reduce welfare (nursery rearing, being single- and/or indoor-housed, location moves, being on project, negative health events/hospital visits, and being caged in a bottom rack/close to the door). MSB observations came from the CNPRC’s behavior management program (2006-2014), while event data (from birth until one year preceding the last behavioral scan) came from the CNPRC’s database. A mixed logistic model (including age, sex and interactions) showed that the following significantly (p<0.05) predicted counts of MSB in an animal’s last year of behavioral scans: being female; more days currently single-housed (unless previously indoor-housed more than 3 years); more years previously single-housed (in older monkeys only); more years previously indoor-housed (for field-caged reared animals only); and more location moves. However, being nursery raised, experiencing more negative health events, hospital days or research projects, and being bottom-caged or near the door, had negligible impact. Relationships between negative events and current MSB levels may thus be too complex and insensitive for MSB to be a practically useful indicator of cumulative welfare. Replication studies are now ongoing.