The American Dairy Science Association® (ADSA®), the American Society of Animal Science (ASAS), and the Poultry Science Association (PSA) are pleased to announce the release of the 4th edition of the Guide for the Care and Use of Agricultural Animals in Research and Teaching, commonly known as the Ag Guide.
The 4th edition of the Ag Guide has been a multi-year, multi-author, multi-society project that has undergone rigorous rounds of individual, society and public review.
This edition builds upon and replaces previous versions of the Ag Guide published in 1988, 1999, and 2010. The Ag Guide comprises subject-oriented chapters covering subjects that pertain to all the agricultural animal species (chapters 1 to 5) and species chapters, which fall under the purview of the respective association(s) dedicated to the species (chapters 6 to 13). Each association appointed a senior editor to steer the revision of their respective species chapters and to collaborate with the senior editors from the other associations to guide the revision of the subject-oriented chapters.
Species chapter committees were recruited from the membership of the respective professional associations devoted to the species; in addition, up to two individuals from each association were selected for each of the subject-oriented chapter committees, which thus comprised representatives from the three associations. The individuals recruited were scientists, veterinarians, or engineers with expertise in the species or subjects covered in their respective chapters. Each chapter committee selected a chairperson from its membership to coordinate revisions and interact with the senior editors.
The chapter committees searched the scientific literature to include new research published since the 3rd edition of the Ag Guide. The Ag Guide senior editors reviewed the chapters before accepting final drafts. The board of directors of each association approved final drafts of the general chapters as well as their respective species chapters. After these approvals, the chapters were compiled into the first draft of the 4th edition of the Ag Guide, this draft was submitted for public review. All public comments were addressed, and the next version was reviewed by authors, senior editors and the society boards to result in the final copy. Although all chapters have been updated, revised, or created anew, the extent of changes within the Ag Guide was determined by progress in the academic literature pertaining to subjects covered in the chapter.
The Ag Guide covers agricultural animal species having different phenotypes within species and that are housed in assorted management systems across widely varying climates. The content must be sufficiently broad to cover the diverse research and teaching institutions that use agricultural animals yet be clear enough to give unambiguous guidance to Institutional Animal Care and Use Committees responsible for the care and use of animals in their respective institutions.