Developing ways to minimise the pain of aversive procedures
As the cattle standards and guideline move into law cattle above 6 months of age will require pain relief when castrated. However establishing best practice is difficult because it is difficult to assess pain accurately in Bos indicus cattle. Measures of pain including quantitative and qualitative behavioural scoring and serum cortisol, liveweight changes, pedometry and nociceptive threshold testing have been studied but have not proven to be reliable and consistent.
What are we doing?
This project will attempt to develop a validated pain assessment method using the electroencephalogram (EEG) of Bos indicus cattle during surgical castration. The results should enable a better understanding of the pain pathways in this species and how best to provide pain relief for castration.