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Life-long well being: applying animal welfare science to nonhuman primates in sanctuaries

By L. Brent

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Nonhuman primates have become common in sanctuaries, and a few such facilities even specialize in their care. Sanctuaries can improve the well being of many unwanted primates, especially in terms of housing and socialization. However, diverse facilities call themselves sanctuaries, and they have varying conditions, care programs, and restrictions. In addition, a general lack of regulation of sanctuaries for nonhuman animals creates problems in enforcing even minimal standards. The application of animal welfare science in the sanctuary setting can help foster high standards and empirically based decision making. Sanctuaries offer excellent environments for studying primates without the limitations inherent in breeding, exhibition, and medical research facilities. However, some sanctuaries avoid scientific study. Many sanctuaries have little opportunity to study animal welfare in a systematic manner due to financial considerations or a lack of specific expertise among staff and volunteers. Most published sanctuary research involves reintroduction procedures at sanctuaries in source countries. Nevertheless, one chimpanzee sanctuary's successes in performing long-term studies and using simple evaluation methods, such as check sheets, have demonstrated the benefits of applying animal welfare science to sanctuary-housed nonhuman primates.

Publication Title Journal of Applied Animal Welfare Science
Volume 10
Issue 1
Pages 55-61
ISBN/ISSN 1088-8705
Publisher Taylor & Francis
DOI 10.1080/10888700701277626
Language English
Author Address Chimp Haven, Inc., 13600 Chimpanzee Place, Keithville, LA 71047,
Cite this work

Researchers should cite this work as follows:

  1. Animal behavior
  2. Animal housing
  3. Animal rights
  4. Animals
  5. Animal welfare
  6. Behavior and behavior mechanisms
  7. Enrichment
  8. Mammals
  9. peer-reviewed
  10. Primates
  11. vertebrates
  12. Zoo and captive wild animals
  1. peer-reviewed