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21 - 08 - 2018

Towards self-sufficient primate breeding facilities

The Federation of European Laboratory Animal Science Associations (FELASA) has issued recommendations to facilitate the development of primate breeding facilities without the addition of external staff.


The Federation of European Laboratory Animal Science Associations (FELASA), has just published a statement on primate breeding for research, and in particular on the objective of breeding without external added staff (self sustaining colony or SSC), an objective set in Article 10 paragraph 1 of the EU Directive 2010/63.

FELASA recalls that primates are sensitive animals that remain essential models for research, and encourage high ethical and scientific standardsfor  their breeding.

Regarding the absence of added animals in a SSC, FELASA published in July 2018 recommendations on some aspects of breeding strategies.

If animals are introduced into a SSC for example to maintain genetic diversity, these animals will have to come from another SSC of equivalent health status.

FELASA recalls the principles that lead to the creation of a SSC:

- lockdown of the breeding facility without introduction of captured animals  for 5 years

- possibility of introducing animals from other closed breeding facilities and offsprings of captured animals (F1 generation)

- possibility to use F1 generation animals in research during the 5-year period

- no captured animals may be used without scientific justification

These principles imply:

- the preservation in these breeding facilities of a sufficient number of young F1 animals for breeding

- the adoption of ethical population management strategies that take into account gender and age imbalances during the 5-year period

- the encouragement to develop transition programs in closed colonies.