Six New Wildlife Forensic Standards From ASB


Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in the articles contained in the Academy News are those of the identified authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the Academy.

Source: Teresa Ambrosius, ASB Secretariat

The AAFS Standards Board (ASB) is pleased to announce the publication of six first-edition Wildlife Forensics standards.

ANSI/ASB Standard 019, Wildlife Forensics General Standards. This document provides minimum standards and recommendations for practicing wildlife forensic analysts. This document covers good laboratory practices, evidence handling, and training, as well as considerations of taxonomy and reference collections that are specific to wildlife forensic science.

ANSI/ASB Standard 028, Wildlife Forensics Morphology Standards. This document provides minimum standards for wildlife forensic analysts in the subdiscipline of morphology.

ANSI/ASB Standard 029, Report Writing in Wildlife Forensics: Morphology and Genetics. This document describes the information to be provided in formal written reports of wildlife forensic examinations for use in legal proceedings. Requirements for both genetic and morphological examination reports are covered. Forensic reports serve a variety of audiences and must provide a clear and concise summary of methods, results, and limitations.

ANSI/ASB Standard 046, Wildlife Forensics Validation Standards—STR Analysis. This document provides minimum standards and recommendations for validating new nuclear Short Tandem Repeat (STR) markers for use in wildlife forensic DNA laboratories where the STR genotyping method has already been validated.

ANSI/ASB Standard 047, Wildlife Forensics Validation Standard—Validating New Primers for Sequencing. This document provides minimum requirements and recommendations for validating new primers for mitochondrial haplotyping and/or taxonomic identification via sequencing in wildlife forensic DNA laboratories where the sequencing (Sanger) method has already been validated.

ANSI/ASB Standard 048, Wildlife Forensic DNA Standard Procedures. This document provides minimum requirements for forensic DNA analysis of wildlife evidence, including general laboratory practice, DNA extraction and amplification, analysis and interpretation, statistical support, sequencing, mitochondrial DNA haplotyping, taxonomic identification, STRs, and data analysis.

ASB documents are available for download in the Published Documents portion of the ASB website.

The ASB is an ANSI-accredited Standards Developing Organization with the purpose of providing accessible, high-quality, science-based consensus forensic standards. The ASB is a wholly owned subsidiary of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences (AAFS), established in 2015 and accredited by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) in 2016. The ASB is partially funded by a grant through the Laura and John Arnold Foundation.

The ASB consists of Consensus Bodies (CB), which are open to all materially interested and affected individuals, companies, and organizations; a Board of Directors; and Staff.

About ANSI: ANSI facilitates the development of American National Standards (ANS) by accrediting the procedures of Standards Developing Organizations (SDOs). Accreditation by ANSI signifies that the procedures used by the standards body in connection with the development of American National Standards meet the Institute’s essential requirements for openness, balance, consensus, and due process.

The National Technology Transfer and Advancement Act (NTTAA) of 1995 (Public Law 104-113) and its implementation directive, Office of Management and Budget Circular A-119, direct federal agencies to utilize voluntary consensus standards where feasible and to participate as appropriate in voluntary consensus standards development activities. Standards developed in accordance with ANSI’s accreditation requirements satisfy obligations incumbent on federal agencies to use or adopt voluntary consensus standards.

In order to maintain ANSI accreditation, standards developers are required to consistently adhere to a set of requirements or procedures that govern the consensus development process. These requirements are set forth in a document known as the ANSI Essential Requirements: Due process requirements for American National Standards (www.ansi.org/essentialrequirements).

Due process is the key to ensuring that ANSs are developed in an environment that is equitable, accessible, and responsive to the requirements of various stakeholders. The open and fair ANS process ensures that all interested and affected parties have an opportunity to participate in a standard’s development. It also serves and protects the public interest since standards developers accredited by ANSI must meet the Institute’s essential requirements and other due process safeguards.