Baker, K. C. 2012. Implementation of pair housing for laboratory primates. American Journal of Primatology 74(S1), 31. (35th Meeting of the American Society of Primatologists Scientific Program, Abstract #20)
There is a general consensus among those studying the welfare of captive primates that social housing is the most effective means for promoting psychological well-being. It is well established that socially-housed rhesus macaques (Macaca mulatta) demonstrate welfare that is superior to those that are singly-housed, and research in other species are broadly consistent with these findings. In a biomedical context, the intersection of research needs, animal needs, regulatory issues and facility resources can present a plethora of challenges to the optimal implementation of pair housing. Practical factors may introduce potential complications and constraints; examples include 1) limited partner options, 2) project assignment and reassignment timelines, 3) experimental appliances, compounds, and schedules, 4) engineering constraints, and 5) finite human resources. In addition, research-related and clinically-required exemptions from social housing may not always be straightforward. This workshop will include participants from National Primate Research Centers, universities, private industry, and a European biomedical facility. It aims to disseminate objective and research-driven assessments, systematic cost/benefit comparisons, and successful strategies for approaching potential impediments to social housing in a variety of species. This workshop is being developed under the auspices of the National Primate Research Center Behavioral Management Consortium and the American Society of Primatologists Primate Care Committee.