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Updated: Comments sought on new draft 'Ag Guide'

Online review portal now available for contributing comments.

The American Dairy Science Assn. (ADSA), the American Society of Animal Science (ASAS) and the Poultry Science Assn. (PSA) announced that they are about to release the fourth edition of the "Guide for the Care & Use of Agricultural Animals in Research & Teaching," commonly known as the "Ag Guide."

However, before the final version is released, they said it is "imperative that the 'Ag Guide' undergo a rigorous public review." As such, the organizations are set to release the draft "Ag Guide" for a 60-day public comment period on March 2.

ADSA, ASAS and PSA will accept comments through an online review portal. Access to the portal will be released on March 2 and will close at 5 p.m. (Central) on May 1.

The fourth edition of the "Ag Guide" builds upon and replaces previous versions of the guide published in 1988, 1999 and 2010, the groups said. The guide comprises subject-oriented chapters covering subjects that pertain to all agricultural animal species (chapters 1-5) and species chapters, which fall under the purview of the respective association(s) dedicated to the species (chapters 6-13). 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, ADSA, ASAS and PSA said.

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 then 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 third edition of the "Ag Guide." The 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 fourth edition of the "Ag Guide."

Although all chapters have been updated, the extent of revision of any given chapter was determined by progress in the academic literature pertaining to subjects covered in the chapter, the organizations said.

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 clear enough to give unambiguous guidance to Institutional Animal Care & Use Committees responsible for the care and use of animals in their respective institutions.

General instructions for commenting through the online review portal include:

  • Comments must be submitted online via the online submission site.
  • The submitter's name, email and affiliation must accompany all comments for comments to be considered.
  • The comments should be constructive in nature.
  • Comments and responses may be posted publicly.

The groups noted that as the Ag Guide is a joint publication of ADSA, ASAS and PSA, permissions must be obtained from these groups for use of any and all of the material currently presented in the draft. Because this is a draft copy, it is being presented for public review, not use. Following the public comment period, the societies will make appropriate changes to the document and publish the final version using an open-access, Creative Commons license to allow easy and appropriate use of the fourth edition of the "Ag Guide," an announcement said.

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