Studying livestock self-medication (B.AWW.0215)
Reward from the relief of pain leads to associative learning by animals. If sheep and cattle can readily learn to self-medicate on feed containing non-addictive medication it could provide an opportunity for animals to provide themselves with extended pain relief, by repeated self-dosing, following necessary husbandry procedures.
Research undertaken by CSIRO
What are we doing?
This project is investigating training animals to self-administer pain relief drugs by eating diets containing medicine. This project will look at whether self-medication is feasible for on-farm delivery of analgesics for pain relief and whether self-medication can be used as an indicator of pain in sheep and cattle.