Pair housing for caged macaques in the laboratory generally allows unrestricted tactile contact but, less commonly, may involve limited contact via grooming-contact bars or perforated panels. The purpose of using this protected contact housing, which prevents entry into pair-mates' cages, typically is to accommodate research and management requirements. The study used behavioral data collected on 12 pairs of female longtailed macaques (Macaca fascicularis) at the Washington National Primate Research Center and 7 pairs of female rhesus macaques (Macaca mulatta) housed at the Tulane National Primate Research Center to assess the relative benefits of protected versus full protected contact. The study collected data in stable pairs housed first in protected contact followed by full contact. Species combined, the study found the presence of the panel was associated with lower levels of social grooming and higher levels of self-grooming, abnormal behavior, and tension-related behavior. Within species, only the protected- versus full-contact contrasts for abnormal and tension were statistically significant - and only for rhesus macaques. Results suggest that for female rhesus macaques, potential disadvantages or inconveniences of full contact should be balanced against the improved behavioral profile in comparison to protected contact. The use of protected contact among female longtailed macaques does not appear to require the same cost-benefit analysis.
|Publication Title||Journal of Applied Animal Welfare Science|
|Publisher||Taylor & Francis|
|Author Address||Tulane National Primate Research Center, Tulane University, 18703 Three Rivers Road, Covington, LA 70433, USA.firstname.lastname@example.org|
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