Where does the MRC breed research macaques?< Back to Video clips and transcripts
The Medical Research Council's Centre for Macaques breeds rhesus macaques for medical research in academic institutions in the UK. Using macaques from the centre means that researchers and those who fund or regulate research can be sure the animals were bred in conditions that met high welfare standards.
At any one time, the centre houses up to 250 rhesus macaques. Many of these will spend their whole lives at the centre, but an average of 40 are supplied each year for research in universities. The monkeys have many similarities with humans in terms of their anatomy and so make good 'models' for research into many human conditions. Researchers wishing to use these animals in their work must show that the research is possible in no other way, comply with stringent regulations and be granted a specific licence by the Home Office.
The monkeys live in groups which mimic how they live in the wild. In this film the centre's director and a primatologist from the National Centre for the Replacement, Refinement and Reduction of Animals in Research (NC3Rs) explain how the monkeys are looked after and how the staff responsible for them use 'enrichment' techniques — such as foraging for food — to fulfil the macaques' behavioural needs.
You may be interested in another MRC film [ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1rWgCV... ] which gives more information about how a neuroscientist is using macaques in his research.