Abstract # 3:

Scheduled for Thursday, June 17, 2010 09:15 AM-09:25 AM: Session 2 (Medallion Ballroom A) Oral Presentation


DESENSITIZATION OF STRESSFUL STIMULI USING TEMPERAMENT AS A DETERMINANT FOR SUCCESS IN CYNOMOLGUS MACAQUES

D. M. Abney and S. L. Hastings
Charles River Laboratories, Inc, 6995 Longley Lane, Reno, NV 89511, USA
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Multiple studies have shown animals desensitized to stressful stimuli are more cooperative for procedures and show reduced levels of stress behavior. The use of a simple temperament assessment, based on a subject’s response to object novelty, can determine how quickly behaviors can be trained. At Charles River Laboratories (Sparks, NV) all primates undergo a four week quarantine period. During this time, primates are desensitized to three potentially stressful stimuli: a false cage back, a leather catch glove, and a transport box. Each week, the invasiveness of the stimuli is increased to prepare the primate for research. For this study, two separate shipments of cynomolgus macaques (Macaca fascicularis) received a temperament assessment prior to the initiation of training. Subjects consisted of 32 males and 31 females and were desensitized to all stimuli a minimum of two times a week. Of the 63 primates, 31 [49%] were labeled as Exploratory and 32 [51%] were labeled as Moderate/Inhibited. The subjects were scored on treat acceptance after the training occurred. Throughout the four weeks, the Exploratory group showed a higher rate of treat acceptance than the Moderate/Inhibited group [Mann-Whitney U test: P<0.001 two-tailed]. From weeks one to four, the Exploratory group showed a gradual increase in treat acceptance whereas the Moderate/Inhibited group remained stagnant. This demonstrates the importance of temperament testing before assigning animals to studies.