Abstract # 6137 Event # 51:

Scheduled for Thursday, June 18, 2015 04:05 PM-04:20 PM: (Cascade F) Oral Presentation


S. P. Lambeth and S. J. Schapiro
Michale E. Keeling Center for Comparative Medicine and Research, UT MD Anderson Cancer Center, Bastrop, TX 78602, USA
     The successful transfer of chimpanzees between facilities involves more than simply loading the animals into a transportation vehicle. Transportation and relocation affect a variety of physiological parameters that are indicative of animal welfare; effects that can persist for up to 3 months. We will describe the steps that are necessary to ensure that the health and wellbeing of transferred chimpanzees are maintained during, and after, relocation. The process begins with the critical task of choosing individuals for relocation, including consideration of age, health, potential social group disruptions, and special needs. The transferring facility must share a variety of animal-related information, including not only complete medical records, but also behavioral profiles, social tendencies (with people and chimpanzees), training histories, diet information, distinguishing characteristics/habits, and special care requirements. Aging animals with mobility issues may require modifications to enclosure space or husbandry practices to maximize wellbeing. Forethought and planning may enable the transferring facility to modify social groups prior to transport, eliminating many social factors from the variables that animals will need to adapt to at the new facility. Those caring for chimpanzees are committed and dedicated to ‘their’ animals, making it imperative that channels of communication between old and new facilities remain open before, during, and after relocation. Commitment to this process will minimize transfer-related disruptions to the lives of the chimpanzees and their human caregivers.