Animal health and welfare   /    On farm    

Do Australian farmers use pain relief for their livestock during animal husbandry procedures?

Pain relief for use on cattle only became commercially available in late 2016. At this time 4% of beef farmers were using pain relief for husbandry procedures (according to the national farmer survey of cattle husbandry practices).

Pain relief during castration and tail docking has recently become available and practical for sheep using pain relief products such as Buccalgesic®, Metacam® and Tri-Solfen®, along with a newly developed device to deliver local anaesthetic for castration and tail docking. 

The practice of using pain relief is expected to continue increasing as Australia’s new Animal Welfare Standards and Guidelines (developed with the livestock industry, government and researchers in 2017) recommend the use of appropriate pain relief when carrying out husbandry procedures including castration and dehorning*.

* Australian Beef Sustainability Annual Update 2018, p21

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