Welfare of primates: care plans and records

Advice on keeping care plans and health plans for your primate.

Care plans and health plans

You should keep written animal care and health plans. The plan should set out what is necessary to meet your responsibilities. The plan will also be useful when other people help with day-to-day care, or if you pass your animals to the care of another keeper.

The plan should include:

  • daily care routines, including feeding, cleaning and handling
  • regular inspection of animals, at least daily
  • specific individual needs of animals
  • a veterinary health plan and the contacts for the keeper’s veterinary practice

The health plan should include:

  • preventive routines, such as parasite control, vaccination and quarantine of ill and imported animals
  • regular health visits for larger collections, and set out routine health care measures that are the responsibility of the keeper
  • routine screening, for example for parasitic infection and more common pathogenic bacteria
  • the veterinary provider who should have enough expert knowledge of the species kept

'Just in case' plans for primates health

It is important that all animal owners and keepers make contingency plans (just in case plans), this includes making sure that they understand their veterinary surgeon’s system for out-of-hours veterinary care so that veterinary help is available at all times.

Contingency plans should cover:

  • emergency service arrangements and contacts
  • emergency procedures if there's no power or other services fail
  • emergency procedures if there's a fire
  • procedures in case the animal escapes

Records

Records are important so that disease can be managed effectively, and for good assessment and management of both individual behaviour and social relationships.

Records should be kept and maintained for all animals and groups of animals on the premises. Where possible, animals should be individually identifiable.

In particular, records should provide the following information:

  • identification and scientific name
  • origin (that is. whether wild or captive-born, including identification of parents, where known, and previous location/s, if any)
  • dates of entry into, and disposal from, the collection and from/to whom
  • date, or estimated date, of birth
  • sex
  • distinctive markings, including microchips
  • clinical data, including details and dates of any treatment given
  • diet and weight recorded at regular intervals
  • veterinary care including preventive care, diagnosis, treatment and procedures
  • behavioural and life history data
  • date of death and the result of any post-mortem examination and laboratory investigations

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