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Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public HealthCAAT

4th Annual Symposium on Social Housing of Laboratory Animals

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Co-hosted by USDA, OLAW, AWIC, The Centers for Disease Control, Yerkes National Primate Research Center, Johns Hopkins Center for Alternatives to Animal Testing, and the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine Department of Molecular and Comparative Pathobiology

May 1-5, 2017
The Centers for Disease Control
Atlanta, GA

The conference will begin with two days of didactic content, interactive discussion, and problem-solving regarding the methods of social housing common laboratory species.  Day two of this symposium will concentrate on nonhuman primates and also serve as the opening of a 3.5-day interactive workshop focusing on the same.  Participants may register for the 2-day symposium held at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the nonhuman primate hands-on workshop held at the Yerkes Field Station, or both.  Participation in the hands-on workshop is limited, so those interested in attending are encouraged to register as soon as possible to ensure a spot.

Symposium Content: 

The goal of this symposium is to bring together experts in the behavior and science of laboratory animal species to exchange information with scientists, Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) members, veterinarians and animal care technicians about the social needs of social laboratory animal species and the means to achieve optimal social housing conditions in a variety of settings.  The format includes two days of lectures in the morning followed by interactive breakout sessions in the afternoon. These lectures give participants a strong foundation in the relevant research underlying socialization and behavioral management efforts, while the breakout sessions allow participants to get feedback specific to their own facility from experts and colleagues.  This year, the first day is expected to cover dogs, rabbits, swine, and rodents, as well as getting input from the USDA, OLAW, and AAALACi regarding current policies and guidance.  The second day will overlap with the Workshop on Macaque Pair Housing and will cover the current best practices for the social housing of rhesus, cynomolgus and pigtailed macaques. RACE credit is available for both days of the symposium.

Workshop Content:

This workshop focuses on one of the most important components of the behavioral management of caged laboratory macaques: providing social opportunities through pair housing.  Workshop participants will learn to tailor their own pair housing programs to the research and animal populations with which they work. This 3.5-day workshop will provide behavioral, clinical, research and primate care staff members, as well as managers and veterinarians, with practical information about methodological options for forming pairs, the tools for evaluating behavior, and strategies for achieving positive short- and long-term outcomes. The information provided will be based on a scientific understanding of macaque behavior and on published studies evaluating pair housing. Lectures and demonstrations will be complemented by ample practice in decision making, problem solving, and the evaluation of social compatibility through videotaped and live observation of macaques. 

Registration Options:

Registration is now open - click HERE to register!

The symposium and the didactic portion of the workshop will be held on May 1st and 2nd at The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, GA. The hands-on workshop on May 3rd-5th will be held at the Yerkes Field Station in Lawrenceville, GA.

  1. Attend both days of the Social Housing Symposium (May 1 and 2, 2017) $250 (student and government rates are also available)
  2. Attend one day of the Social Housing Symposium (May 1 or May 2, 2017) $150 (student and government rates are also available)
  3. Attend the hands-on Workshop on Macaque Pair Housing (May 2 – 5, 2017) $875
  4. Attend Social Housing Symposium and the Workshop on Macaque Pair Housing (May 1 – 5, 2017) $975

Please note:

*If you are attending only one day, please select the correct ticket option on the registration page, here.
*If you are registering as a student, you must email a copy of your student ID and registration to Jamie DeRita.
*Registration spaces are VERY LIMITED for the 
hands-on Workshop on Macaque Pair Housing, so please register ASAP if you plan to attend.

Draft Agenda:


5/1/2017 –   Centers for Disease Control, Atlanta, GA

8:30-8:45         Organizer’s Welcome

8:45-9:45         Keynote
Brian Hare

9:45-10:30       The Situationally Social Nature of Rabbits
                        Jeff Wyatt

10:30-11:00     Break

11:00-11:45     Social Housing of Miniature Swine
                        Derek Brocksmith

11:45-12:30     Social Housing of Rodents
                        Christina Winnicker

12:30-1:30       Lunch

1:30-2:30         Current viewpoints from regulators and peer reviewers:  USDA, OLAW, and AAALAC International
                        Gwen Maginnis, Brent Morse, Jeff Wyatt

2:30-4:50         Breakout Sessions


5/2/2017 – Centers for Disease Control, Atlanta, GA

8:30-9:20         Pairing in Context: Value of Pair Housing and Partner Selection in the Laboratory Environment
                        Kate Baker

9:20-10:10       Selecting Partners to Pair: Temperament and Other Factors
                        Kris Coleman

10:10-10:40     Break

10:40-11:30     Techniques to Introduce Pairs of Macaques
                        Mollie Bloomsmith

11:30-12:30     Group Learning Activity

12:30 – 1:30    Lunch

1:30-2:20         Assessing Behavioral Compatibility in Macaque Pairs
                        Melissa Truelove

2:30-4:50         Breakout Sessions

DAY 3 - 5

5/3/2017 – 5/5/2017 - Yerkes National Primate Research Center, Lawrenceville GA

8:00-5:00        Workshop Activities (May 5 is expected to end around 2pm)

For further information, please contact Jamie DeRita.