. "2. Background and Context for Occupational Health and Safety in the Care and Use of Nonhuman Primates." Occupational Health and Safety in the Care and Use of Nonhuman Primates. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press, 2003.
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described methods of forming pairs or groups to maximize the safety of animals (Bernstein 1991; Fritz 1994; Reinhardt 1988, 1990, 1991). Those methods will also protect the personnel involved.
Many enrichment techniques involve attaching items (such as foraging devices and toys) to the front of a cage or placing items inside the cage, so there is the potential for animals to grab, bite, or scratch personnel as they provide upkeep of these items. In general, enrichment items kept inside the cage should be handled only when the cage is empty (for example, during cage-change procedures). Good judgment must be used when considering the upkeep of items attached to the front of an animal’s enclosure; the practice might be safe with some enrichment items and for some species of nonhuman primates but not others. Consideration should also be given to the risks associated with handling and transport of the enrichment devices themselves. These devices can become contaminated with saliva, urine and feces and can be an infectious hazard to any personnel that contact them, including staff that may wash the devices. Further, it should be noted that microbial growth can persist on enrichment devices after sanitation in a commercial cage washer (Bayne and others 1993).
Because the provision of environmental enrichment is a required aspect of captive-primate husbandry, staff with a variety of expertise may be involved in the behavioral management program. Institutions should ensure that staff receive training in the safe implementation of enrichment that is specific to the species held, the type of caging used, and the methods of enrichment being implemented.