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Evaluation of Pain Mitigation Strategies in Goat Kids after Cautery Disbudding

Animal Behaviour and Welfare Laboratory, Centre of Interdisciplinary Research in Animal Health, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Lisbon University, 1300-477 Lisbon, Portugal
Università degli Studi di Milano, Department of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences - Production, Landscape, Agroenergy, Via G. Celoria 2, 20133 Milan, Italy
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Animals 2020, 10(2), 277;
Received: 31 December 2019 / Revised: 31 January 2020 / Accepted: 7 February 2020 / Published: 11 February 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Animal Suffering and Welfare)
Disbudding is a routine procedure performed in goat kids at an early age, especially the ones in the dairy industry. The procedure is mainly done to increase safety for other animals and workers in intensive dairy farms. Disbudding is a painful procedure that affects the welfare of the kids. Effective and practical pain mitigation strategies to reduce the suffering of goat kids due to disbudding have not yet been found. We studied two different pain mitigation strategies for this procedure and concluded that they were not entirely effective. Consumers are increasingly aware of animal farming practices, especially the ones that can lead to suffering and pain, such as disbudding. It is crucial that pain mitigation strategies as well as possible alternative solutions to disbudding continue to be investigated.
Nowadays, most of the goat milk production in developed countries is done in intensive indoors production systems. In these systems, procedures such as disbudding are performed routinely. Disbudding is done in young goat kids and is a recognised as a painful procedure. Pain mitigation strategies have been extensively researched, but a method that is effective in mitigating pain as well as being safe and practical has not yet been found. In this paper we used three treatment groups: one control and two groups with pain mitigation strategies for cautery disbudding, one using local anaesthesia (lidocaine) and a second one using local anaesthesia (lidocaine) plus an analgesic (flunixin meglumine). The behaviour of twenty-seven goat kids was recorded for three hours after disbudding. Overall, the goat kids that received both pain mitigation treatments dedicated more time performing active and positive behaviours. Nevertheless, the incidence of behaviours related to pain and discomfort was not consistently reduced. Research is still needed to find a practical and effective pain mitigation strategy for disbudding. A solution to this challenge would improve animal welfare as well as address societal concerns linked to the suffering of farm animals. View Full-Text
Keywords: disbudding; pain mitigation; analgesia; anaesthesia; goat kids disbudding; pain mitigation; analgesia; anaesthesia; goat kids
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MDPI and ACS Style

Ajuda, I.; Battini, M.; Mattiello, S.; Arcuri, C.; Stilwell, G. Evaluation of Pain Mitigation Strategies in Goat Kids after Cautery Disbudding. Animals 2020, 10, 277.

AMA Style

Ajuda I, Battini M, Mattiello S, Arcuri C, Stilwell G. Evaluation of Pain Mitigation Strategies in Goat Kids after Cautery Disbudding. Animals. 2020; 10(2):277.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Ajuda, Inês, Monica Battini, Silvana Mattiello, Cecilia Arcuri, and George Stilwell. 2020. "Evaluation of Pain Mitigation Strategies in Goat Kids after Cautery Disbudding" Animals 10, no. 2: 277.

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