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Control, choice, and assessments of the value of behavioral management to nonhuman primates in captivity

By S. J. Schapiro, S. P. Lambeth

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Many people have devoted considerable effort to enhancing the environments of nonhuman primates in captivity. There is substantial motivation to develop experimental, analytical, and interpretational frameworks to enable objective measurements of the value of environmental enrichment/behavioral management efforts. The consumer-demand approach is a framework not frequently implemented in studies of nonhuman primate welfare but profitably used in studies of the welfare of nonhuman animals in agriculture. Preference studies, in which primates can voluntarily choose to socialize or to participate in training, may be the best current examples of a consumer-demand-like approach to assessing the effects of captive management strategies on primate welfare. Additional work in this area would be beneficial; however, there are potential ethical constraints on purposefully subjecting primates to adverse circumstances to measure their demand for a resource. Primate welfare researchers need to design consumer-demand studies with obstacles that will help measure the relative value of resources to captive primates without compromising the welfare they are attempting to evaluate and enhance.

Publication Title Journal of Applied Animal Welfare Science
Volume 10
Issue 1
Pages 39-47
ISBN/ISSN 1088-8705
Publisher Taylor & Francis
DOI 10.1080/10888700701277345
Language English
Author Address The Michale E. Keeling Center for Comparative Medicine and Research, DVS, The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center, 650 Cool Water Drive, Bastrop, TX 78602,
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. Socialization
  12. vertebrates
  1. peer-reviewed