General Considerations

Much has transpired in the animal feed industry since the publication of the first edition of this book. In the European Union, meat and bone meal can no longer be used as animal feed and the controversy over the use of fish-meal for ruminant feeding continues unabated. In addition, the restrictions imposed by the ban on feed antibiotics have yet to be addressed in terms of viable commercial options. All of these issues have helped to raise further the profile of amino acids as feed supplements.

Meanwhile, research on amino acids in farm animal nutrition has shifted from empirical supplementation studies for determining requirements to fundamentals such as signalling and molecular action. The dose-response feeding studies have served their purpose, particularly in establishing requirements (Chapters 14, 18 and 20) and ideal amino acid patterns (Chapters 9 and 13). Modelling has also now become an established tool (Chapters 11, 16 and 21). This revised edition thus provides a timely opportunity to explore novel and wider applications of amino acids in animal nutrition. Some of the major developments are co-ordinated in this chapter.

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