Behaviour 2019
Acute effect of fluid control on the welfare of laboratory rhesus macaques
Janire Castellano Bueno, Alexandra Paraskevopoulou, Letitia Sermin-Reed, Sam Groves, Susanna Carella, Christopher Miller, Nathan Kindred, Mathilde Jay, Alexandra Czeszyk, Josephine Panafieu , Julie Safourcade, Melissa Bateson , Colline Poirier. Institute of Biosciences, Medical School , Newcastle upon Tyne, Tyne and Wear, United Kingdom

To ensure high motivation of rhesus macaques in biomedical experiments, fluid availability can be controlled in the home cage, and used as a reward during experiments. However, fluid control raises welfare concerns. This study investigated the acute effect of fluid control on macaques’ welfare using a behavioural approach (n=21). Home cage behaviour was recorded after at least 24 hours of fluid control and after free access to fluid. Animals’ affective state was assessed by quantifying the frequency of pharmacologically-validated behavioural indicators of anxiety; and others suspected to indicate a negative acute affective state but not yet validated. 525 hours of footage were analysed, covering up to 6 years of intermittent fluid control required by unrelated experiments. We used general linear mixed models, a within-subject centring approach and controlled for the effect of time. We found no acute effect of fluid control on any behaviour, no habituation or sensitisation nor any impact of the number consecutive days under fluid control. This study suggests that the fluid control protocol investigated does not have a negative impact on the acute affective states of macaques.