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The Use of Artificial Turf as a Foraging Substrate for Individually Housed Rhesus Monkeys (MACACA MULATRA)

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The provisioning of foraging opportunities to primates has been shown to be an effective means of enriching the laboratory environment. In this study artificial turf was used as the substrate for a particulate food given to the subjects as an environmental enrichment technique. Eight rhesus monkeys exhibited a significant reduction in behavioural pathology when allowed to extend the amount of time they spent in consummatory activities. An increasing trend in time spent foraging with a concomitant decline in aberrant behaviour over a period of six months was particularly noteworthy. No significant difference in preference for particulate monkey chow or more flavourful particulate food treats was expressed by the primates.
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Keywords: ANIMAL WELFARE; ENVIRONMENTAL ENRICHMENT; PSYCHOLOGICAL WELL-BEING

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 1992-02-01

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