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J Med Primatol. 2006 Dec;35(6):388-96.

Objective measures of health and well-being in laboratory rhesus monkeys (Macaca mulatta).

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1
Department of Physiology, University of Wisconsin Madison Medical School, Madison, WI, USA.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Non-human primates are an invaluable part of biomedical research. Strict regulations insure animals have a maximum likelihood of well-being and optimum health during the course of experimental procedures. Objective assessment of well-being is a critical component of these assurances.

METHODS:

Here we describe an objective and quantitative system we used to identify two well-being concerns in laboratory rhesus monkeys (Macaca mulatta). We provide a series of indicators for use by laboratory personnel to promote laboratory primate well-being. The indicators measure (1) potentially life threatening clinical concerns, (2) developing clinical issues, (3) atypical behaviors, and (4) laboratory performance. We include specific criteria to facilitate veterinary intervention.

RESULTS:

The assessment, applied to two case studies reported here, enabled swift veterinary intervention returning the animals to a healthy state.

CONCLUSIONS:

The measures described here provide a battery of observable and objective measures across multiple dimensions that can further ensure both excellent science and veterinary care.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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