[Advocacy] Guidelines for the Care and Use of Nonhuman Primates in Neuroscience Research

This English version was prepared with the support of AMED.  


 These guidelines were developed by the Japan Neuroscience Society in light of the recent increase in international collaboration in neuroscience research using nonhuman primates and the increasing frequency of collaborative experiments and sharing of experimental data. These researcher-initiated and -led guidelines are focused on the use of macaque monkeys and common marmosets in neuroscience and behavioral research. Different wording is used to indicate three strengths of recommendation in these guidelines. “Must” indicates duty or requirement that has to be followed. “Should” indicates that the procedures described are strongly recommended in principle, but alternative procedures are permitted depending on the situation only if the procedures are approved by the institutional animal care and use committee. “Advisable” indicates a suggestion to be considered. We chose to use the term “well-being” in the context of a better environment for animals. Some argue that it would be better to use other terms such as “tranquility” and “welfare,” while others say that these terms are more suited for use in the context of human society. We agree with the latter opinion and opted to use “well-being.” Another reason for this choice is that “well-being” is used in the Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals (8th ed.) issued by the National Research Council.
 These guidelines also include two major proposals. The first is to promote the introduction of equipment (cages) that can accommodate multiple animals. We aim to achieve this goal by 2030. However, we have little knowledge or experience regarding the advantages and disadvantages of keeping Japanese macaques in pairs (knowledge in Europe and the U.S. is primarily derived from rhesus and cynomolgus macaques, and it is unclear whether it can be immediately applied to Japanese macaques). Therefore, we will conduct a survey of the actual status of this proposal and other necessary surveys in Japan in about 5 years to see whether reconsideration is necessary. The second proposal is to establish a collaborative relationship with veterinarians regarding veterinary management. We aim to achieve this goal by 2025.
 We hope that these guidelines will contribute to the proper care of laboratory animals and the proper conduct of animal experiments in compliance with the “3Rs" principle.
Michisuke Yuzaki
President, Japan Neuroscience Society
Katsuki Nakamura
Chair, Expert Committee on the Development of Guidelines for
the Care and Use of Nonhuman Primates in Neuroscience Research