Effect of Lignocaine and a Topical Vapocoolant Spray on Pain Response during Surgical Castration of Beef Calves
Sydney School of Veterinary Science, Faculty of Science, The University of Sydney, Sydney, NSW 2006, Australia
School of Life and Environmental Sciences, Faculty of Science, The University of Sydney, Sydney, NSW 2006, Australia
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Received: 28 February 2019 / Revised: 22 March 2019 / Accepted: 25 March 2019 / Published: 28 March 2019
Ensuring a good state of welfare in farm animals is important for ethical reasons and sustainability of livestock industries. Addressing pain in farm animals during and following surgical husbandry procedures is a significant component of animal welfare. Until recently, practical constraints associated with delivery of traditional forms of analgesia have prevented widespread uptake by producers, especially in large, extensively managed animal production systems. In recent years, novel anaesthetic and analgesic products have been developed to facilitate practical delivery of post-operative pain relief to livestock. However, the issue of intra-operative pain during husbandry procedures remains unaddressed. Therefore, this study investigated the efficacy of pre-operative injected lignocaine and peri-operative topical vapocoolant spray, administered as most practical for incorporation into routine procedures, for pain relief during castration of calves. Results from this study provide no evidence that lignocaine or vapocoolant spray reduced pain during castration of calves. Pulling of the spermatic cords appeared to be the most painful component of the castration procedure. This finding may assist in clarifying what methods for relieving procedural pain associated with castration of calves merit future research.