Abstract # 2043 Poster # 66:

Scheduled for Thursday, August 17, 2006 07:00 PM-09:00 PM: Session 8 (Regency West 1/3 ) Poster Presentation

Venipuncture training using positive reinforcement training techniques: a comparison of chimpanzees and rhesus macaques

L. A. Pranger1, A. Maier1, K. Coleman1, S. P. Lambeth2, J. E. Perlman2, E. Thiele2, J. L. McMillan1 and S. J. Schapiro2
1Oregon National Primate Research Center, 505 NW 185th Ave., Beaverton, OR 97006, USA, 2The University of Texas, MD Anderson Cancer Center, Bastrop Texas
     As increased emphasis is placed on enhancing the psychological well-being of nonhuman primates, many biomedical facilities are using positive reinforcement training (PRT) techniques to train primates to voluntarily participate in husbandry and research procedures. PRT increases the animal’s control over its environment and desensitizes the animal to stressful stimuli. Venipuncture is a common husbandry/research procedure that can be particularly stressful for subjects. While several studies have demonstrated that chimpanzees and other apes can be trained for in-cage venipuncture using only PRT, fewer studies have demonstrated success using similar techniques to train macaques. It is often assumed that macaques cannot be trained in the same manner as apes. Here, we present PRT data from group-housed adult chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes; n=4 at UTMDACC) and singly-housed adult rhesus macaques (Macaca mulatta; n=2 at ONPRC). All subjects were trained to place an arm in a “blood sleeve” and remain stationary for venipuncture. Both facilities utilized similar PRT techniques. It took an average of 219 +/- 24 min in 31 +/- 3 training sessions to successfully train the chimpanzees and 156+/- 0.7 min in 32+/- 0.7 sessions to successfully train the macaques. Differences in housing, among other factors, are likely to account for the differences in training times between species. These data demonstrate that it is possible to train macaques for venipuncture in a manner similar to that used for chimpanzees.