Perlman, J. E., Bloomsmith, M. A., Whittaker, M. A. et al. 2012. Implementing positive reinforcement animal training programs at primate laboratories. Applied Animal Behaviour Science 137(3-4), 114-126.
In the last decade several surveys of primate care and training programs highlight a common theme; despite scientific evidence that animal training can be effective in reducing stress, increasing efficiency and improving veterinary care, animal training is not widely incorporated into animal care and management programs in laboratory settings. This is particularly important with the recent release of the internationally recognized version of the Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals by the National Research Council. The Guide includes multiple recommendations to incorporate training methods into husbandry and experimental procedures. To address the divide between the regulatory and scientifically based support for animal training, and a broader establishment of formal animal training programs, this paper will: describe three approaches to structuring animal training programs; provide rationale as to why facilities should have animal training programs; report on a recent survey of animal training programs at nine, large USA facilities housing nonhuman primates; discuss important elements of an animal training program; discuss negative reinforcement and means to minimize its use; and finally give a detailed description of a facility-wide animal training program.