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The EUPRIM-Net Project

WP3:Education in Animal Behavioural Management and Positive Reinforcement Training

Friendly human contact and Positive Reinforcement Training (PRT) of laboratory primates for participation
in procedures is proposed to dramatically reduce the stress level for the animals, promote more reliable
experimental results, and lead to an increased safety, both for animals and personnel. The importance of
“psychological wellbeing”, allowing the animals to express natural behaviours and through PRT gain a measure
of control over their environment, has been particularly emphasized.

Psychological well-being is addressed through the field of Animal Behavioural Management (ABM), involving
ethological aspects of captive animal husbandry, as well as PRT. During the past four years of work in
EUPRIM-Net, PRT has been established as a successful tool in reducing stress in connection with husbandry
and scientific procedures. We have spread knowledge about the technique among all participants, and it
has come into use in the daily routines. An inspiring DVD, showing the benefits of PRT in different handling
situations, has been produced and distributed to over one hundred primate facilities over the world, and great
interest has been expressed to learn the technique. In the continuation of this activity we will also include
ethological aspects of the other factors contributing to a psychological wellbeing, mentioned above. We will also
continue the successful work of spreading the knowledge about PRT and other forms of animal training. We
are planning to form an ABM/PRT Seminar Group, comprising well educated persons from each participating
country, who will be responsible for the education of the technique in their home regions. The object of the
activity is to spread knowledge and understanding about ABM and PRT of laboratory primates to as many
primate facilities as possible in Europe and around the world.

The ABM/PRT Seminar Group is now offering courses to different subjects!

WP11: Research activities in Animal Behavioural Management and Positive Reinforcement Training

Psychological wellbeing is addressed through the field of Animal Behavioural Management (ABM), involving
ethological aspects of captive animal husbandry, as well as Positive Reinforcement Training (PRT). Adaptation
and training of laboratory primates for participation in procedures are generally accepted as methods to reduce
the stress level for the animals and promote more reliable experimental results. However, there is a limited
amount of scientific literature within this area. The objective of this WP is to perform scientific evaluations of
different structural enhancement and environmental enrichment strategies, socialization, group housing, etc.
for different primate species in different facilities. The work will be performed as a continuation of the screening
investigations performed under WP3. The work will be coordinated by KI, and funding of PhD students, both
at KII and DPZ, is included in the work package. With its scientific focus this project will have a substantial
impact on international primate care and handling, as it will supply the international primate community with
science-based evidence as to effectiveness of PRT and a range of ABM measures in improving animal welfare.