Medical Reading

Revised American Veterinary Medical Association Policy On Castrating And Dehorning Cattle - Provides Additional Guidance For Managing Pain

July 28, 2017

The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) has revised its policy on castration and dehorning of cattle to provide veterinarians with additional guidance for managing pain associated with these procedures. The revised policy, approved on April 12, 2008, does not dictate that practitioners use any particular method of pain management or drug. Instead it provides some basic recommendations for consideration by practitioners when they work with producers to achieve the goal of pain management.

Revisions made to the policy are the result of a comprehensive review of recent science that has provided more information about identifying and ameliorating pain experienced by cattle during castration and dehorning.

"Individual practitioners are encouraged to achieve pain management, when possible, using their education, experience and judgment," says Dr. Gail Golab, director of the AVMA Animal Welfare Division. "Administration of appropriate medications is one potential strategy; however, effective pain control does not always require the use of medications. It is also possible to mitigate pain by selecting a better technique or by applying a technique at a more appropriate age ."

American Veterinary Medical Association
1931 N. Meacham Road, Suite 100
Schaumburg, IL 60173-4360
www.avma