ample, to what extent should routine procedures be predictable, and to what extent should the primate be an active participant in the process? How can one measure the adverse effects of deviation from routine?

Special attention should be focused on such procedures as quarantine and shipment, which generally entail translocation, social separation, dismantling of social groups, and marked alterations in ambient temperature, diet, water, caging, and animal technicians. The effects of quarantine and shipment should be subject to analysis and assessment from the perspective of animal well-being. Such study might afford a unique opportunity to do research on stress and its attenuation.

Special attention and research efforts should be directed to understanding the few animals in a colony that show signs of distress or disturbance (e.g., a type of sentinel) despite the presence of measures that support the well-being of all other animals in a colony. Care for these individual animals is particularly troublesome, in that they represent isolated problems in a population that appears to be exhibiting overall well-being. The temptation is to invest disproportionate resources in the chronic care of one animal or to remove the problem by euthanizing the animal (see Kreger and others 1998). Systematic investigation of individual differences in psychological well-being that leads to an understanding of why particular animals ''slip through" despite the best possible plans will improve our understanding of the interaction of factors that contribute to the well-being of all animals.

Animal Technician's and Caregiver's Role in Well-Being

The animal technician's and caregiver's roles are pivotal to the social support of primates, particularly animals that are singly caged. Caregivers can serve as important points of social contact from which primates can garner positive interaction, instructions (where to go and what to do during cage-cleaning, transfer, etc.), and emotional security. They might also serve important roles in managing events when protracted fights, quarrels, and incessant hassling among primates break out. How might these relationships between animals and humans best be established, and how can existing relationships be improved? How can caregivers and technicians best be trained in key aspects of animal behavior? What aspects of training are most effective and deserve support? These ideas should be investigated further so that the caregiver's optimal role can be defined with reference to primate well-being. The effect of rotating caregivers in a colony and of changing caregivers on weekend, holiday, and other schedules merits investigation.

Some of the programs involving animals' well-being require time and effort (e.g., animal training) and commitments from the institution's senior management. Ways to increase the efficiency of human operations to help promote well-



The National Academies | 500 Fifth St. N.W. | Washington, D.C. 20001
Copyright © National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.
Terms of Use and Privacy Statement