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Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public HealthCAAT

Animal Welfare Enhancement Awards - 2005 Recipients

Does Increasing Environmental Enrichment Promote Recovery in Macaques?
Susan Pack, C.A.H.T., LATG
 University of Pennsylvania Gene Therapy Program

Severe prolonged pain, particularly post-operative pain, has been known to cause negative effects on the patient involved. Metabolic abnormalities, psychological abnormalities, delayed wound healing, and self-mutilation are just a few of the detrimental side effects that can occur due to pain. We believe that providing environmental enrichment to all laboratory animals should be a routine component of the post-operative regimen, but it currently appears to be lacking in the lab animal community. In addition to the minimal enrichment currently provided to our non-human primates, we plan on providing additional services to the animals that are anticipated to be successful. We plan on providing more personal interaction with the animals (3 times a day), providing the primates with a variety of enrichment devices, such as tunnels, foraging boards, and puzzles, and, in addition, providing audible and visual stimulation in the form of music and television. Ultimately, we believe these actions will show it is in the best interest of both the animals and lab personnel to provide additional enrichment to hasten recovery. The presence of improved enrichment could account for more accurate research by eliminating the artifacts that could be linked to the post-operative recovery period. If funding is available, we also will perform the same study in mice.