2.1. Refinement

Russell and Burch (1992) defined Refinement as:
Any decrease in the incidence or severity of inhumane procedures applied to animals (p 65). Its object is simply to reduce to an absolute minimum the amount of distress imposed (p 134).

Balls et al. (1995), Buchanan-Smith et al. (2005) and Russell (2005) extended this definition by emphasizing that Refinement enhances the subject's well-being.

In the present review, the term "refinement" is used for:
Any modification in the housing and handling practices of animals that

2.2. Distress

In this review, distress is interpreted as:
Inability to adapt to a condition or to a situation that induces an alteration in the subject's physiological and psychological equilibrium.

The following gestures and behaviors are taken as indicators that a nonhuman primate is distressed:

Figure 2 Rhesus macaque Betty is quasi-cornered as personnel approach her cage. She responds with fear, anxiety and defensive aggression to this distressing situation. Note that Betty has lost part of her hair [alopecia] as a result of compulsive hair-pulling.

Figure 3 Rhesus macaque Ella is subjected to enforced manual restraint during routine blood collection. Ella exhibits signs of intense fear, indicating that she is distressed.

Figure 4a,b This juvenile male rhesus macaque shows a behavioral distress reaction to permanent confinement in a barren cage. He bit his upper arms, wrists, and thighs 636 times during a 60-minute video recording. Each "attack" lasted from a split second to as long as six seconds. 

b) Compulsive self-biting
The subject is extremely frustrated - with high emotional arousal, e.g., shaking, intense staring, piloerection - for example, when fear-inducing personnel approach the cage, with the subject having no option to escape or attack. The animal will predictably bite specific parts of his or her body, for example always the right wrist or always the left upper thigh. This leads to noticeable abrasion over time - first local alopecia, followed by mild inflammation - but may also result in serious injuries. Typically, an animal self-inflicts lacerations of the same body part several times on different occasions (Figure 29a,b), often necessitating the amputation of the repeatedly injured limb.
Self-biting and other forms of self-injurious behaviors also occur in human primates in association with depression, anxiety and incarceration (Scott and Gendreau, 1969; Sluga and Grünberger, 1969; Wells, 1974; Bach-Rita, 1974; Yaroshevsky, 1975; Villalba and Harrington, 2003).

2.3. Well-Being

In this book well-being is defined as :
A state of ease in which the subject's needs for survival are met.
For nonhuman primates in professionally accredited research facilities, the physiological needs are usually met while the behavioral needs for survival are often not addressed. This review, therefore, focuses on well-being that is derived from the performance of behaviors that would be crucial for the subject's survival in the wild.


Refinement is successful if it:

 Figure 5 Nonhuman primates such as baboons have a biologically inherent need to be in the company of conspecifics. Photo by Annie Reinhardt.


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