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J Appl Anim Welf Sci. 2003;6(3):163-73.

The use of positive reinforcement training techniques to enhance the care, management, and welfare of primates in the laboratory.

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Active Environments Lompoc, California 93436, USA.


Handled frequently and subjected to a wide range of medical procedures that may be particularly invasive, nonhuman animals in a laboratory setting have unique needs. To produce the most reliable research results and to protect and enhance the well-being of the animals, it is desirable to perform these procedures with as little stress for the animals as possible. Positive reinforcement training can use targeted activities and procedures to achieve the voluntary cooperation of nonhuman primates. The benefits of such work include diminished stress on the animals, enhanced flexibility and reliability in data collection, and a reduction in the use of anesthesia. Training also provides the means to mitigate social problems, aid in introductions, reduce abnormal behavior, enhance enrichment programs, and increase the safety of attending personnel. This article describes the application of operant conditioning techniques to animal management.

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