Download PDF


    Healthy, disease-free, vaccinated, well-fed, comfortable, and well-cared-for animals are high performers. Scientists and animal producers have an ethical obligation to provide for safe and disease-controlled environments for farm animals that promote animal well-being. The assessment of the animal’s well-being is only gained through understanding the animal’s requirements based on science and behavior determinations. Safe and high-quality animal-based food and fiber production is essential for consumers, as well as livestock producers, to remain sustainable. The various livestock industries, research and teaching organizations, and consumers’ best interests are served when science-based standards are used for providing the best possible animal care.

    • Animal scientists have conducted numerous scientific investigations that establish and refine management practices for providing optimal care, handling, housing, nutrition, vaccination, and husbandry practices for animals.
    • FASS has published a compilation of the scientific literature for ensuring appropriate farm animal care at universities, government laboratories, and research companies in its newly released fourth edition of “Guide for the Care and Use of Agricultural Animals in Research and Teaching.” This “Ag Guide” document provides the most comprehensive current science-based information on livestock animal care for agricultural and biomedical teaching and research.1 Although other appropriate guides are available, the Ag Guide is authored by professional animal scientists and scientifically peer reviewed by recognized individuals and organizations.
    • FASS encourages personnel involved in commercial animal agriculture and overseeing teaching and research programs to use the Ag Guide’s science-based criteria for developing and refining livestock animal care guidelines and protocols.
    • Food producing and marketing companies are encouraged to support these science-based animal care standards as they implement their own animal care accreditation programs.
    • Animal scientists are continuing to investigate current and future livestock production systems to ensure the animals produced are healthy, disease-free, vaccinated, well-fed, comfortable, and well-cared-for when promoting animal production. Future changes to livestock care and production need to assess environment, food safety, and societal views and their impacts. Considering these impacts will lead to more sustainable production systems.

    The continuous improvement in livestock production practices enhances animal well-being, which will contribute to satisfying the world’s increasing demand for animal-based food and fiber. The public has a legitimate interest in the environmental, food safety, and animal welfare implications of livestock production. The animal science community, using unbiased, scientifically rigorous methods, must faithfully examine those implications when investigating, teaching, and implementing future livestock production practices and technologies for maximizing production efficiency while providing for livestock well-being.

    Policy Statement:

    The Federation of Animal Science Societies (FASS) encourages the use of livestock management practices and technologies developed through rigorous scientific investigations that promote animal health and well-being.

    Policy Objectives:

    • Support using rigorous science-based practices described in the Guide for the Care and Use of Agricultural Animals in Research and Teaching1 and other appropriate science-based standards that promote farm livestock well-being.
    • Support using rigorous science-based practices that promote animal well-being in research laboratory animals.
    • Support using harmonized guidelines for farm animal care at universities, government laboratories, and industrial research facilities.

    Approved by the FASS Science Policy Committee on June 7, 2022
    Adopted by the FASS Board of Directors on October 27, 2022

    For more information, please contact


    1FASS. 2020. Guide for the Care and Use of Agricultural Animals in Teaching and Research. 4th ed. Federation of Animal Science Societies, Champaign, IL. ISBN: 978-0-9634491-5-3 (PDF)

    978-0-9634491-4-6 (ePub) Available online: 4th Edition of the Ag Guide (