Fernández-Lázaro, G., Dye, M. H., Eddie,C. et al. 2021. Strepsirrhine primate training programs in North American institutions: Status and implications for future welfare assessment. Animals 11(8), 2462.
Many articles have shown the benefits of operant conditioning training techniques in the care and welfare of several species of nonhuman primates; however, the information regarding their use in strepsirrhine species is scarce. We assessed the development and current status of training programs with these species in North American institutions. An online survey was distributed through members of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums using a multiple-choice format. We collected information related to training program details; animals, behaviors, and techniques; the evaluation process; and the impact of training. Seventy-one organizations completed the survey, with the results showing that 97% of respondents trained their strepsirrhines with the main objective of husbandry and veterinary care (around 80%). Sixty-eight percent of organizations did not report any risk in training these species. The benefits reported include increases in positive human–animal interactions (97%), psychological well-being (88%), and staff awareness of animal behaviors (90%). However, a multi-dimensional approach to measure the efficacy of training could provide a deeper understanding of its impact on the welfare of strepsirrhine primates. We hope that the data offered in this survey can help in this future assessment.