NSW beef producer Robert Mackenzie says the well-being of his animals is the highest priority when it comes to the management of his specialist Angus herd.
Mr Mackenzie and his sons James and Jack and his father Bruce run about 3500 breeders on eight properties across 6070 hectares near Gloucester and Port Stephens on the lower Mid North Coast.
They operate Macka's Australian Black Angus Beef branded program, which supplies steers to the popular retail brand in addition to supplying heifers to restockers.
He said the off-the-shelf pain relief product Tri-Solfen was used when ever animals were likely to experience pain.
In addition to regular invasive animal husbandry practices, Mr Mackenzie applies the distinctive blue gel to ear tags and to ear marks.
"We put a lot of emphasis in animal health and well being," Mr Mackenzie said.
"Not that I have had my ears pierced but I can imagine it would be painful.
"Tri-Solfen works as an antiseptic as well as an anesthetic cutting pain, making the animals more happy, healthy and relaxed.
"Any sort of pain relief you can offer an animal is beneficial."
Mr Mackenzie said the delivery of pain relief benefited the entire industry.
"Australian beef is on the world stage," Mr Mackenzie said. "People want to know our product ticks all the boxes and we are doing the right thing by our animals."
Tri-Solfen is a blue gel, which is administered using an applicator gun. It contained 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.
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