On December 8, 2009, the Federation of Animal Science Societies (FASS)1 released the third edition of the Guide for the Care and Use of Agricultural Animals in Research and Teaching (FASS Ag Guide).2 First published in 1988, and revised in 1999, this guide is a primary source for information about the needs and requirements for the care of agricultural animals used in research and teaching.

Different from its previous versions, the FASS Ag Guide:

  • is available online in PDF format at no cost for the first time. (Printed, spiral-bound copies are available for purchase.)
  • no longer contains a second use of the word “agricultural” in the title (formerly called Guide for the Care and Use of Agricultural Animals in Agricultural Research and Teaching). This change came about because the authors believe that certain needs and requirements of agricultural animals do not necessarily change because of the objectives of the research or teaching activities in which they are used.
  • expands on information on environmental enrichment; handling and transport; biosecurity; and genetically engineered and cloned farm animals. Adds several species; eliminates the chapter on veal and incorporated in its place calf care into the chapters of beef and dairy cattle.
  • is written in general terms so that the recommendations can be applied in the diverse institutions that use agricultural animals in research and teaching in the United States. In the context of this guide, the verb “must” is used for considerations or practices that are viewed as imperatives. The verb “should” indicates a strong recommendation but one for which alternative strategies might be justified after careful consideration. A “recommendation” connotes a practice or policy that is generally preferred but for which there are acceptable alternatives. It should be emphasized, however, that professional judgment is essential in the application of these guidelines. Veterinarians, institutional animal care and use committees, and users of agricultural animals must play a critical role in making specific suggestions regarding animal care and use at their institution.
  • endorses the U.S. Government Principles for the Utilization and Care of Vertebrate Animals Used in Testing, Research, and Training of the IRAC (1985; Appendix 1).

Free PDF downloads of the FASS 2009 Ag Guide are available at

Guide for the Care and Use of Agricultural Animals in Research and Teaching, 3rd ed.

  • Table of Contents and Preface
  • Chapter 1 - Institutional Policies
  • Chapter 2 - Agricultural Animal Health Care
  • Chapter 3 - Husbandry Housing and Biosecurity
  • Chapter 4 - Environmental Enrichment
  • Chapter 5 - Animal Handling and Transport
  • Chapter 6 - Beef Cattle
  • Chapter 7 - Dairy Cattle
  • Chapter 8 - Horses
  • Chapter 9 - Poultry
  • Chapter 10 - Sheep and Goats
  • Chapter 11 - Swine
  • Appendices
  • Index

FASS solicits comments and suggestions related to this current edition of the Ag Guide during the period from now until the next revision is undertaken. Comments will be kept on file until the next revision.

The Federation of Animal Science Societies (FASS) was formed on January 1, 1998 by mutual consent and for the mutual benefit of three founding Member Societies: the American Dairy Science Association (ADSA), the American Society of Animal Science (ASAS), and the Poultry Science Association (PSA). The mission of FASS is to strengthen the common interests and collective good of member societies through a unified science based voice that supports animal agriculture, animal products, and food systems globally through effective and efficient management services.

  1. USDA Revises Veterinary Accreditation Program. News Room. News Release. December 2009.
  2. National Veterinary Accreditation Program. Federal Register. Final Rule. Vol. 74, No. 235. Rules and Regulations December 9, 2009.