News & Advice

Calf disbudding: Animal Welfare changes to be aware of

Jun 5, 2019 | Compliance, Dairy, Young Stock

As of 1 October 2019, all animals that require removal of horn buds or horn tissue require an appropriately placed and effective local anaesthetic block.

Why do I now have to place a local anaesthetic block? With the new Animal Welfare (Care and Procedure) Regulations that have been authorised, regulation 57 states “A person must not disbud a cattle beast unless throughout the procedure the cattle beast is under the influence of an appropriately placed and effective local anaesthetic that is authorized by a veterinarian for the purpose of the procedure.” 

How can I comply with this law change? 

Talk to your local Anexa Vets representative about using our technician services to disbud your calves. Our services include full sedation of calves on top of local anaesthetic which allows us to simultaneously and conveniently vaccinate/castrate/DNA/BVD test as well as remove surplus teats and check navels.

Alternatively, talk to your Anexa Vet about having an assessment to allow you to place local anaesthetic and disbud your own calves. 

How does this benefit me and my calves? 

The use of a local nerve block in the disbudding procedure means that calves can not feel the procedure. This means they are easier to restrain which reduces mobility and provides better and safer access to the horn buds.
We also see improved growth rates (less of a growth check) especially when we add in sedation and/or anti-inflammatories. 

How often would I need assessment if I want to apply local anaesthetic myself? 

Similar to the deer industry you would require a yearly audit/assessment to ensure that all the standards are still being met.

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