Considering the public concern about the welfare of farm animals during routine husbandry practices, this study aimed to determine how husbandry practices are carried out in Chilean farms, sheep farmers’ perceptions of animal welfare and pain, and factors that affect them, as well as the level of agreement among farmers in the recognition of pain associated with these practices. Using a self-administered survey, participants were asked about their sociodemographic information, how husbandry practices are carried out in their farms, and their pain perception for seven of these common husbandry procedures using a numerical rating scale (0 to 10). A total of 165 farmers completed the survey and perceived castration and tail docking as the most painful practices in lambs (median pain score 10 vs. 8, p
< 0.05). Pain perception was associated with the method used for the specific husbandry practices, the farmers’ educational level, the farm size, and flock size (p
< 0.05). There was a fair to good level of agreement beyond chance (p
< 0.05) in the recognition of pain associated with the most painful practices. In general, husbandry practices are not carried out in young animals, use painful methods, without using analgesics, which may have a negative impact on animal welfare.
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License
which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited