Protection of Primate Health in the Wild
WHEREAS many of our primate subjects are already being negatively impacted by human activities that result in destruction of their habitat and fragmentation of their populations; and
WHEREAS the study of primates often involves the close proximity of the subjects, the research workers and their guides; and
WHEREAS very little information is available on the presence of or exposure to infectious disease in wild primate populations; and
WHEREAS evidence suggests that many primate species are susceptible to many of the pathogenic infections that afflict humans and that the transmission of infection can occur in both directions;
The International Primatological Society therefore RECOMMENDS:
- THAT field research workers consult with veterinary and medical experts to develop health and sanitation standards specific to the research site.
- THAT field researchers observe these prescribed health and sanitation standards throughout their research and that these standards be considered in all research proposals;
- THAT the health and sanitation standards apply equally to local staff and volunteers employed by the research worker and that the observance of these standards is an ethical obligation;
- THAT experts in primate handling and anesthesia be involved in training researchers and staff in proper handling or anesthesia techniques if the experts are not actually present in the field;
- THAT efforts are made to maximize the knowledge gained during primate research by consulting or collaborating with experts in other disciplines to properly obtain data or samples that may help with understanding primate diseases;
- THAT field primatologists, assisted by veterinary and medical advisors, initiate and develop occupational health programs for employees and their family members living in or near the study site. This should include consideration for sanitary and health protocols, relevant infectious disease screening, immunization, and/or quarantine periods as appropriate, in accordance with current professional recommendations.