CATTLE producers attending the Commercial Cattle Championships at Beef 2021 threw their support behind the use of pain relief in animal husbandry practices.
Kerryn Piggott, Christmas Creek, Rolleston, said the off-the-shelf product Tri-Solfen was being used on about 1000 calves a year.
"We believe keeping our cattle happy and content is paramount," Mrs Piggott said.
"The first thing we noticed about using Tri-Solfen is that after dehorning and castration, there was a noticeable affect.
"They walked a lot better, stayed with the mob, and we didn't have calves left behind, which did happen in the past.
"Happy cattle make fat cattle, which gives you more money hopefully."
Keith Bettridge, Mount Wilga, Alpha, said Tri-Solfen made a big difference in helping in the mothering up process.
"Prior to Tri-Solfen calves would lie down, shake their head, didn't want to mother up, didn't want to suck," Mr Bettridge said.
"We tried it, and we liked it, and we've been using it ever since.
"It's good for the whole industry, I'd recommend it."
Peter Mahoney, Gyranda, Theodore, said he had been using Tri-Solfen for two years.
"What I notice is the calves are usually quite calm," Mr Mahoney said.
"It's rare that you see a calf that is agitated, in pain, or seems in pain.
"For my experience it does add valve, especially from an animal welfare point of view."
Professor Peter Windsor from The University of Sydney, Camden, said the adoption of on-farm pain relief was evidence of Australia's leadership in advancing practical animal welfare.
"It is a good news story that needs to be told," Professor Windsor said.
"Australian agriculture, through the willingness of many of our farmers to be pro-active in changing their practices, is having a major impact on advancing global livestock welfare."
The beef industry's commitment to animal welfare has been further enhanced with a release of guide to pain relief for necessary animal husbandry practices.
Issued by the Cattle Council of Australia, the guide follows the recent improvement in access to registered pain-relief compounds.
Tri-Solfen is a distinctive blue gel, which contains two local anaesthetics, lignocane and bupivivaine, plus adrenalin to stop bleeding and an antiseptic to prevent infection.
An application of Tri-Solfen costs between about a $1 and $1.50 to treat each animal. It is described as best suited to calves aged six to eight weeks and is designed to provide pain relief for 24 to 36 hours.
Tri-Solfen is applied using an applicator gun, which has recently been upgraded.
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