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Castration Research States Surgical Method is Best

08 January 2013
Meat & Livestock Australia

AUSTRALIA - MLA funded research investigating the pain caused by tension-banded castration and surgical castration has concluded that, despite common perceptions, using bands causes more pain.

Carol Petherick, University of Queensland Senior Rearch Fellow has completed bull welfare research concluding that surgical castration inflicts less discomfort on the animal.

In conjunction with CSIRO, Massey University and the Queensland Government Brahman bulls aged between 7-10 months and 22-25 months were tested for responses to castration.

Cortisol levels were measured in the blood to assess pain due to cortisol being activated by stress. The healing process was also noted objectively by scoring the appearance of wounds to document recovery and the welfare outcomes of the bulls were compared.

The team noticed the non steroidal anti-inflammatory ketoprofen alleviated pain in the older bulls between 1.5 and 3 hours after the castration but did little to help the discomfort of the younger group.

Mr Petherick attributed this response to the fact that older bulls were more familiar with being handled and this dictated cattle behaviour, limiting the effect the process had on their behaviour.

Further Reading

You can view the full article in the mla magazine by clicking here.

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