In the spring of 2014, some members of ASP began an informal discussion over email about the need for information about retiring laboratory monkeys to sanctuary settings at the end of their research careers. In September 2014, the Board of Directors of the American Society of Primatologists established an ad hoc committee (Doree Fragaszy and Chuck Snowdon) to collate information that could provide guidance to the membership about this topic. In June 2015, Steve Ross organized a symposium at the ASP conference to acquaint members of ASP with the developments in the sanctuary community1,2. This symposium generated a good deal of audience interest and requests for information. This document is the result of those discussions and the aim of this document is to provide some useful guidelines and examples of previously successful transfers of monkeys from university research institutions to sanctuaries. Of course, each individual case in question will be unique.
Useful Resources: If all goes well, the sanctuary and the research institution can work together effectively for a smooth transfer. Both Chuck Snowdon (email@example.com) and Doree Fragaszy (firstname.lastname@example.org) have done this, and you may contact either of them to discuss the process.
1Two people who presented at the June 2015 Symposium at ASP on Sanctuaries have posted their presentations on YouTube:
2Dorothy Fragaszy, Christopher King and Leanne Alworth (2015): What enables a university to work effectively with a private sanctuary to retire nonhuman primates.
3Individuals and businesses who exhibit animals to the public for compensation (including donations) are required to obtain a license from USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS). Some businesses are required to be licensed regardless of whether or not they receive compensation. APHIS’ Animal Care program ensures that exhibitors comply with the Animal Welfare Act’s standards and regulations through licensing requirements, education, and unannounced inspections.
7http://www.primatesanctuaries.org; the current director is Erika Fleury, her email address is email@example.com
8 For example, at the University of Georgia, D. Fragaszy worked with the Clinical Veterinarian responsible for the monkey colony and the Director of Animal Care and Use for the University, and at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, C. Snowdon worked directly with the chief veterinarian who is Director of the Research Animals Resources Center.
9In cases that we know about, the research institution did not provide full financial support for the retirement, but did provide partial support. The exact amount of support needed for the retirement to happen depends on factors that the researcher cannot know; the sanctuary director will have to provide that information. Ask what in-kind donations could be useful (such as caging; sanctuaries have to have back-up housing in case of weather emergencies, for example).
10Questions you should consider asking include: Does the sanctuary have permanent and paid animal care staff? How is veterinary care provided? What diet is provided? What type of enclosures will be available for housing? What kind of enrichment program do they maintain?