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Report on primate supply for biomedical scientific work in the UK. EUPREN UK Working Party.

Owen, S, Thomas, C, West, P, Wolfensohn, S and Wood, M (1997) Report on primate supply for biomedical scientific work in the UK. EUPREN UK Working Party. Lab Anim, 31 (4). pp. 289-297.

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A Working Party of the UK group of European Primate Resources Network (EUPREN) considered primate supply for scientific work in the UK. Through a questionnaire, which achieved a very good response, it obtained details of primate use, sources and breeding in the UK and it put forward options to ensure that animal welfare is the best possible whilst ensuring continued supply. The questionnaire showed that contract research laboratories and pharmaceutical companies use about 80% of the 4233 primates used annually at the moment, with the rest accounted for by academic establishments and public sector laboratories. Fifty-four per cent are cynomolgus macaques (Macaca fascicularis), of which nearly 90% are captive-bred outside the European Union (EU), the remainder being bred in the UK. Nearly 90% of cynomolgus macaques are used by only five institutions. Thirty-seven per cent of primates used are marmosets (Callithrix jacchus jacchus), all of which are bred in the UK. Most of the rest are rhesus macaques (Macaca mulatta), about half of which are captive-bred outside the EU, the other half being bred in the UK. Overall primate use has increased from about 3000 per year in 1990 and users predict that requirements for all species except baboons (Papio sp.) will be maintained or increase. Marmoset breeding in the UK is already closely matched to use, and it could be increased reasonably easily if necessary. Some of the existing breeding centres of macaques in the UK would be prepared to consider expanding to supply others, although investment and imported breeding stock would be needed and it is likely that a large investment would be needed to breed a significant fraction of the macaque use in the UK. A further problem is that the users of only about 10% of the cynomolgus macaques said that they could replace this species by rhesus macaques, which are easier to breed in the UK. The questionnaire showed that much of the use of macaques would be transferred to other countries equally remote from the natural source countries of the animals, if constraints on primate use became more severe in the UK. Users felt that it is unlikely that much of the work could be transferred to the natural source countries themselves. A review of the literature revealed a paucity of information on the effects of transport on primate welfare. The importance of obtaining this information before making decisions about alternative means of supply is stressed. Current schemes for the accreditation of primate breeders were reviewed. A list of options is presented for discussion. Users vary so much in their requirements that it is unlikely that one means of supply will be applicable to all. Animal welfare will benefit and supply will be more certain if cooperation between those concerned (preferably through the UK group of EUPREN) is maintained.

Item Type: Article
Divisions : Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences > School of Veterinary Medicine
Authors :
Owen, S
Thomas, C
West, P
Wood, M
Date : October 1997
Uncontrolled Keywords : Animal Welfare, Animals, Animals, Laboratory, Great Britain, Laboratory Animal Science, Population Dynamics, Primates, Research, Surveys and Questionnaires, Transportation
Related URLs :
Depositing User : Symplectic Elements
Date Deposited : 17 May 2017 10:14
Last Modified : 19 Dec 2019 00:25

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