What we know that just ain’t so

Understanding pain management in pre-weaned beef calves

  • K. S. Schwartzkopf-Genswein Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Lethbridge Research Centre, Lethbridge, Alberta T1J 4B1
  • S. Marti Department of Ruminant Production, Institut de Recerca i Tecnologia Agroalimentàries (IRTA), 08140 Caldes de Montbui, Spain
  • E. D. Janzen University of Calgary, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, 2500 University Drive, Calgary Alberta T3R 1J3
  • D. Meléndez Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Lethbridge Research Centre, Lethbridge, Alberta T1J 4B1
Keywords: castration, pain mitigation, pre-weaned, beef, calves

Abstract

It is well documented that castration, regardless of age or method (surgical or band) causes pain in beef cattle. At the same time, consumer concern and awareness regarding painful routine management procedures in livestock is at an all-time high. Developing pain mitigation strategies that are practical and cost effective for producers is also important to facilitate their adoption by the beef industry. The goal of this paper is to review current pain assessment and mitigation strategies for knife and band castration in pre-weaned calves with focus on the influence of the age and method of castration, including a summary of recent studies assessing the effects of meloxicam in controlling calf pain and improving calf comfort.

Published
2020-09-24
Issue
Section
Beef Sessions