Training Animals

Training Animals

Training that uses positive reinforcement techniques (which reward desired behaviour) is a valuable tool for the humane use and care of animals. Trained animals maintain a high degree of reliability in participating in experimental or husbandry procedures and are less stressed while doing so. For example, nonhuman primates can be trained to co-operate voluntarily in scientific or veterinary procedures. This reduces the need for physical restraint and/or anaesthesia and the accompanying risks to welfare and effects on scientific results. Therefore, training-related Refinement alternatives not only benefit animal welfare, but can also enhance the quality of research.

Specifically, training may provide the means to:

  • improve husbandry and veterinary care
  • reduce abnormal and stereotypic behaviour
  • reduce aggression
  • improve socialisation
  • enhance enrichment programs
  • improve psychological-wellbeing

This section has been adapted from the National Centre for the Replacement, Refinement and Reduction of Animals in Research (NC3Rs) website.

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