Reinhardt 1989). Procedures that reduce reliance on forced restraint and that reduce invasiveness are less stressful for animals and staff, safer for both, and generally more efficient. Using cooperative methods of data collection can lead to higher-quality results. Therefore, training animals and staff to cooperate in routine procedures can be a valuable element of a well-being program.

Veterinary Care

Veterinary care should be the responsibility of a veterinarian who has training or experience in primate medicine. The veterinarian should be responsible for medical care and should have a leadership role, with investigators and other personnel, in establishing policies and procedures with respect to husbandry, animal well-being, hazard containment, nutrition, handling, occupational health, safety, and enrichment (CDC/NIH 1993; NRC 1996). The physical and, to a large degree, behavioral well-being of primates depends on a well-considered and comprehensive program of animal care and use.

An effective preventive-medicine program is the foundation on which a healthy, successful primate colony is built. Many factors contribute to a preventive-medicine program, including husbandry procedures, facility design, quarantine and isolation procedures, and clinical care. Primates usually do not show obvious signs of disease until they are seriously ill. In clinical terms, that means that animals identified as ill are often critically ill by the time they are discovered. Therefore, prevention of disease, rather than treatment, should be the primary focus of the veterinary care program.

Quarantine is a time when emphasis is placed on identification and treatment of disease. It is also a time of stabilization, permitting animals to adjust to changes in their physical and social environment, e.g., relocation from a native environment to sudden confinement or less-dramatic changes, as from one captive environment to another. Stresses associated with such moves are usually associated with various modes and distances of transportation, unfamiliar caregiver personnel, new surroundings and caging, different types and availability of food and water, and frequently repeated testing and sampling procedures.

Much of that is unavoidable, but it is helpful to give animals as much continuity with the familiar as is possible, including sensory contact with familiar conspecifics (Coe and others 1982; Coelho and others 1991; Gust and others 1994). Incoming animals that have previously lived together as a social group should be quarantined together as space permits. Infants should be kept with their mothers. Young juveniles will also likely benefit if kept in pairs or trios after arrival. The problems of medical treatment and control of disease should be balanced against the stress of separation and arousal. Such stresses can have profound consequences, especially in younger animals, and can lead not only to behavioral depression, but to changes in endocrine, physiological, immunologi-

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