Abstract # 713 Event # 20:

Scheduled for Wednesday, June 9, 2004 01:30 PM-04:00 PM: Session 3 (Play Circle) Symposium


The Veterinarian's Role in Behavioral Management

I. Bolton
Wisconsin Primate Research Center, Wisconsin Primate Research Center, 1220 Capitol Court, Madison, WI 53715, USA
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     The similarities between nonhuman primates and humans draw considerable attention to animals of this order in all venues. Public awareness of animals used in biomedical research has been a significant driving force for the regulatory burden facing institutions utilizing primates in this capacity. The responsibility for interpretation of these regulations falls to veterinary professionals. The knowledge gained in the veterinarian’s educational process uniquely positions them to adapt the frequently vague regulations for application to various types of institutions and individual animals. This pivotal position is reinforced by the fact that many animal program reviewers are veterinarians which lends additional confidence to the interaction. As in many other instances, veterinary input is mandated with respect to behavior and environmental management, yet the training accorded veterinarians in this area is minimal to non-existent. This is further complicated by prioritizing this activity against the myriad of other animal care and husbandry demands placed on veterinarians, the subjective nature of interpreting behavior, the fact that many veterinarians have never seen an animal in a naturalistic setting, and the veterinarians’ limited and tenuous relationship with the animals themselves. A review of the pertinent regulatory guidelines, discussion of the pitfalls encountered in behavioral management, and a review of potential options for addressing this statutory obligation will provide an overview of the challenges of successful behavioral management of nonhuman primates.