Sanitary aspects of handling non-human primates during transport

Biomedical research has a need to use non-human primates in cases where no other species offer the specific scientific information required or the necessary predictability of results for the development of medicaments and vaccines. Biomedical research would prefer purpose-bred animals of known history, with an amount of background information necessary for the interpretation of findings from animal experiments. However, the existing breeding centres cannot completely fulfil the requirements of bio-medical research and for some species no breeding centres of importance have yet been created due to the difficulty in predicting requirements and the high investment costs of such an endeavour. Therefore, a certain - eventually diminishing - demand for feral animals will continue in the near future. However, even such animals should be delivered in good health and after a quarantine period at the supplier institution. Most of the large breeding centres - for macaques at least - exist in Asia, Mauritius and to a certain extent in the USA. Breeding establishments need to have a size that is adequate to be able to supply sufficient numbers of animals of standardized quality at a given time. Moreover they should avoid inbreeding. In addition, primate breeding requires specially trained personnel and appropriate housing conditions. It is therefore rarely feasible for any research institution to breed primates for its own use alone. Thus, even if more non-human primates were to be bred in Europe the necessity of transporting these from large breeding centres to the user would exist. For long distances transport by air, wherever possible with direct flights, is the least stressful to these species.


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