Abstract # 159:

Scheduled for Sunday, September 18, 2011 07:00 PM-09:00 PM: Session 23 (Salon G (Sixth Floor)) Poster Presentation


A. L. Martin1,2, M. A. Bloomsmith1 and J. E. Perlman1
1Yerkes National Primate Res. Ctr., Emory University, Atlanta, GA 30329, USA, 2School of Psychology, Georgia Institute of Technology
     Changes in the 2011 edition of the Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals emphasize the importance of monitoring the behavior of nonhuman primates to assess their welfare. At the Yerkes National Primate Research Center we have developed a system for behavioral assessment that includes these elements: frequent observation of behavior for all primates with a check sheet-type record; a quantitative system for recording levels of hair loss; pre-determined threshold levels of problematic behaviors that then trigger additional assessment; quantitative behavioral data collection with an ethogram used across multiple species; an automated system to generate graphs from the data collected; and a treatment plan based on the severity and frequency of the behavioral problem identified. Of the caged primates (N=1173) currently at Yerkes, 6% are undergoing assessment and treatment for problem behaviors, and an additional 16% receive a maintenance treatment. Among those actively being assessed for problem behaviors, 48% have a history of self-injurious behaviors, 18% have a history of self biting without injury, 18% exhibit severe hair loss, and the remainder exhibit a variety of other abnormal behaviors. The goals of the behavioral assessment system are to have an efficient and uniform assessment and data management program to accurately assess each primate’s behavior, to evaluate the interventions that are implemented, and to facilitate sharing findings with the scientific community.