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Effect of positive reinforcement training on physiological and behavioural stress responses in the hamadryas baboon ( Papio hamadryas )

By J. K. O'Brien, S. Heffernan, P. C. Thomson, P. D. McGreevy

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Abstract

Behavioural and salivary cortisol responses were measured in hamadryas baboons (Papio hamadryas) (n=5) undergoing positive reinforcement training (PRT). Compliance was assessed by collecting behavioural data on desirable and undesirable responses during each training session (33-46 training sessions per male). Saliva was collected before implementation of the training programme (3-4 baseline samples per male) and immediately before and ten minutes after a training session (24-53 saliva samples per male). During training, the incidence of leaving the training area, vocalising and threat displays changed across time. Performance of the desired behaviour (holding a target for increasing increments of time) improved for all males during the study period. Concentrations of salivary cortisol were similar for pre-training and post-training collection times, but both were significantly lower than baseline concentrations. The overall decline in undesirable behaviours and the absence of constantly elevated salivary cortisol suggest that PRT had no adverse effects on animal welfare.

Date 2008
Publication Title Animal Welfare
Volume 17
Issue 2
Pages 125-138
ISBN/ISSN 0962-7286
Language English
Author Address Faculty of Veterinary Science, University of Sydney, NSW 2006, Australia. justineo@vetsci.usyd.edu.au
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Tags
  1. Adverse effects
  2. Adverse reactions
  3. Animal rights
  4. Animal welfare
  5. Baboons
  6. Conditioning
  7. Cortisol
  8. Education
  9. Hydrocortisone
  10. Incidence
  11. Mammals
  12. peer-reviewed
  13. Primates
  14. saliva
  15. training
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  1. peer-reviewed