Environmental enrichment for primates in laboratories
- Behaviour and Evolution Research Group, Psychology, School of Natural Sciences, University of Stirling, Stirling FK9 4LA, Scotland
Abstract. Environmental enrichment is a critical component of Refinement, one of the 3Rs underlying humane experimentation on animals. In this paper I discuss why primates housed in laboratories, which often have constraints of space and study protocols, are a special case for enrichment. I outline a framework for categorising the different types of enrichment, using the marmoset as a case study, and summarise the methods used to determine what animals want/prefer. I briefly review the arguments that enrichment does not negatively affect experimental outcomes. Finally I focus on complexity and novelty, choice and control, the underlying features of enrichment that makes it successful, and how combined with a thorough understanding of natural history we can put effective enrichment into practice in laboratories. Throughout the paper I emphasise the need to evaluate enrichment to ensure it is having the desired effect.