Skip to main content
NC3Rs: National Centre for the Replacement Refinement & Reduction of Animals in Research

Rehoming ex-laboratory non-human primates

The majority of non-human primates used in research are euthanised as an integral part of the experimental procedures. In situations where this is not required, or in the case of former breeding animals or surplus stock, it may be possible to rehome the animals to legitimate sanctuaries as an alternative. Directive 2010/63/EU allows for this, provided certain conditions are met.

Rehoming has been found to benefit the morale of staff members involved with caring for the animals. However, the rehoming process can entail welfare costs to the animals involved, depending on, for example, their ages and state of health, the circumstances and duration of transport to the new site, and the physical and social conditions in which the animals will be kept. Non-human primates should only be rehomed if it is clear that the process will be truly in the best interests of the individual animals and that the new home offers a good quality of life. 

Guidance for the rehoming of ex-laboratory primates is available.