Woolley, A. P. A. H. 1997. Requirements of biomedical research in terms of housing and husbandry for non-human primates: Pharmacology & Toxicology. Primate Report 49, 37-41.

The objective of toxicology and pharmacology studies is to detect change or variation from normal and to interpret the significance of such change, with the intention of assessing risk to man. With non-human primates (NHPs) detection of change related to the experimental procedure in use is made more difficult by confounding factors, such as excessive stress, abnormal behaviour, injury, pre-existing disease or parasitism or pathological abnormality arising from these factors. In order to meet the objectives of toxicology or pharmacology studies these factors need to be eliminated or minimised as far as possible. Many of these factors may be attributable to inappropriate techniques of housing or husbandry. With improving techniques of housing and husbandry there have been clear subjective improvements in the quality of data, allowing more secure interpretation of the data. The purpose of this short paper is to review the requirements for the successful conduct of pharmacology and toxicology studies in non-human primates (NHPs) and to examine how housing and husbandry systems have affected this, and how they can be modified to produce better data in the future. The move towards group housing in larger, more complex cages allows greater attention to the environment and provides improved beneficial social interactions, more exercise, and the opportunity to forage for food scattered on bedding. The net result is a fitter animal with better behaviour patterns and less variability due to factors associated with single housing, particularly excessive or undesirable stress.