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Risk factors and remediation of self-injurious and self-abuse behavior in rhesus macaques

By I. Rommeck, K. Anderson, A. Heagerty, A. Cameron, B. McCowan

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Considered signs of decreased welfare - abnormal behaviors such as self-injury and self-abuse among nonhuman primates housed in the laboratory - may put into question the validity and reliability of scientific research using these animals as models. Providing environmental enrichment decreases the incidence of some undesirable behaviors but is often unsuccessful at ameliorating the most severe types of abnormal behaviors. To prevent such behaviors from developing, it is important to identify risk factors that provide insight into the causes of certain abnormal behaviors. This study confirmed previous research identifying nursery rearing, single housing, and time spent in single housing as important risk factors. Results also indicate that the number of cage relocations affects the development of these behaviors. In addition, this study presents new data on comorbidity of several abnormal behaviors and discusses possible reasons for these patterns.

Publication Title Journal of Applied Animal Welfare Science
Volume 12
Issue 1
Pages 61-72
ISBN/ISSN 1088-8705
Publisher Taylor & Francis
DOI 10.1080/10888700802536798
Language English
Author Address California National Primate Research Center, University of California, One Shields Avenue, Davis, CA 95616,
Cite this work

Researchers should cite this work as follows:

  1. Animal housing
  2. Animal rights
  3. Animals
  4. Animal welfare
  5. Enrichment
  6. Incidence
  7. Macaques
  8. Mammals
  9. models
  10. Monkeys
  11. peer-reviewed
  12. Primates
  13. Research
  14. risk factors
  15. Studies
  16. vertebrates
  1. peer-reviewed