What’s being done by the Australian red meat industry to reduce pain during animal husbandry procedures?
The Australian red meat industry invests in research to reduce pain during animal husbandry procedures. It takes a ‘replace, relieve and refine’ approach to assessing research projects.
The highest priority is to replace aversive procedures with stress-free, non-invasive procedures. Examples include using genetics to breed out the poll gene in cattle so that dehorning is no longer required.
If replacing procedures isn’t feasible, second tier research aims to minimise pain of aversive procedures using pain relief. Examples include mitigating pain using products such as Buccalgesic® during tail docking and Tri-Solfen® for pain control following dehorning.
Thirdly, the industry will invest in research which refines existing procedures by applying a less stressful method in a less stressful way. Examples include devices that provide an anaesthetic as well as analgesic to mitigate pain and stress during castration and tail docking.
Figure 2 sourced from 2020 Australian Beef Sustainability Annual Update pp 22