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 A Brief History of the PRRS

The Primate Resource Referral Service (formerly Primate Supply Information Clearinghouse) was established by the WaNPRC in 1977. Its establishment coincided with the Indian government’s suspension of primate exports. Since the United States was particularly dependent on rhesus macaques for research at the time, the PRRS became immediately important in assisting scientists with locating rhesus already in this country. Since that time, obtaining primates for research has been further complicated by many additional countries imposing severe export restrictions on wild-caught primates, and by significant decreases in wild populations of many primate species due to habitat destruction and other human pressures.

The PRRS has been instrumental in assisting breeding colonies with obtaining breeders, in connecting researchers with sources of domestically-bred primates, and in reducing the total numbers of both foreign-born and domestic primates needed by matching surplus and reusable primates. The PRRS has thus been a significant partner in conservation efforts to wisely and efficiently utilize our scarce primate resources, particularly by encouraging the more efficient utilization of our domestic primate stocks, thereby helping lessen demand pressures on already beleaguered wild populations.

The Primate Resource Referral Service (PRRS) provides the communications/database network needed for efficient acquisition and sharing of existing captive primates and primate-related resources (tissues, caging, etc.) by investigators and institutions both nationally and internationally. The overall goal of this service is to maximize the use of existing captive primates thereby reducing the total number of primates needed for research, and in turn, helping to promote the conservation of primate populations in the wild.

PRRS services include

  1. Referral Service, an immediate, staff-operated service designed to match investigator inquiries/requests to the available resource listings maintained in the PRRS master database;
  2. CURRENT LISTINGS, a twice-monthly newsletter listing current availability of, as well as needs for, primates, tissues, equipment, and services;
  3. Web site, an interactive site that includes the full text of CURRENT LISTINGS as well as online forms for posting resource availabilities/needs and listing updates, a diagram of primate taxonomy with illustrative photographs, online renewal and feedback forms, general service information, and links to other sites of interest to the primate research community.
  4. The PRRS also maintains a database of colonies, primates, and primate materials to which notices of availability and need can be referred.

Services are available without charge to government-supported researchers and other scientists in the United States and abroad using primates in their work.

PLEASE NOTE: Non-human primates and their offspring may be sold, resold, or otherwise distributed only for bona fide scientific, educational (University level), or exhibition purposes, according to strictly defined criteria implemented by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Please check all regulations (USDA, CDC, USDI, local permits) prior to transfer, sale, placement of non-human primates. Links to many of these regulatory agencies may be found on our Related Links page. 

 Ways to Join the PRRS

Participant Form

Participant must be employed/affiliated with one of the following:

  1. Registered research facility (hold “R” classification (USDA), have filed with OPRR);
  2. Federal institution or government agency,
  3. Domestic Zoological park (Class “C” USDA exhibitor, is a member of AZA and/or participates in an SSP or ISIS program for nonhuman primates (must specify which) and qualifies to hold nonhuman primates under CDC Foreign Quarantine Regulations : open a minimum of 5 days/week with regular hours.)

FULL PARTICIPANTS  will receive FREE SUBSCRIPTION and can publish advertisements in the newsletter. They also can utilize the PRRS referral service.