Abstract # 2579 Event # 15:

Scheduled for Saturday, September 19, 2009 10:00 AM-10:10 AM: Session 2 (Shell Room) Oral Presentation


BEHAVIORAL RESPONSE OF RHESUS MACAQUES (MACACA MULATTA) TO ROUTINE CAGE WASHING PROCEDURES

J. McMillan1, J. E. Perlman1, A. L. Martin1,2 and M. A. Bloomsmith1,2
1Yerkes National Primate Research Center, Emory University, Atlanta, GA 30329, USA, 2Center for Conservation and Behavior, School of Psychology, Georgia Institute of Technology
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Documenting behavioral effects of routine procedures such as the cage washing process in non-human primate facilities is an important step in identifying procedures that may be stressful to the primates, and in determining ways to improve those procedures. Collecting 210 hours of data, using a scan-sampling technique, we observed that our subjects [90 singly-housed rhesus macaques] exhibited higher levels of abnormal behaviors during morning observations, before cage wash procedures generally occur, than during afternoon observations [repeated-measures MANOVA, F(3,87)=37.42, p<0.001], possibly due to anticipatory effects. We added a positive reinforcement (PR) protocol to the cage washing procedure to determine its effect on these behaviors. We also compared behavior in rooms being prepared for wash (in which the animals could see the preparations) to rates in an adjacent room (in which animals could only hear the preparations). A repeated-measures MANOVA showed no significant difference in abnormal behavior with the addition of PR [F(3,87)=2.47, p=0.07]. There was a significant difference in behavior in cage wash rooms as compared with adjacent rooms [F(3,88)=17.19, p<0.001], with the subjects showing higher levels of self-directed behaviors and scratching in the adjacent rooms [p<0.001]. Findings suggest a simple application of PR to cage washing process did not reduce abnormal behaviors and that cage washing procedures increase some stress-related behaviors in monkeys housed in rooms adjacent to the cage washing.