Vets upskill on new animal welfare rules

The new regulations require cattle undergoing disbudding (which is the removal of horn tissue in calves) or dehorning to be given effective local anaesthetic pain relief (as a minimum).

VETERINARIANS are geared up to help farmers comply with new legal requirements to use local anesthetic during the removal of any horn tissue from cattle.

The new rules will come into force on October 1.

New Zealand Veterinary Association (NZVA) chief veterinary officer Dr Helen Beattie said the NZVA had been educating members to help farmers comply with changes to the Animal Welfare (Care and Procedures) Regulations.

“We support these changes as they are a win for animal welfare. They mean that the immediate pain associated with these common procedures should be eliminated for all cattle,” Dr Beattie said.

“It is important that farmers are aware of their obligations and how best to meet them.”

The new regulations require cattle undergoing disbudding (which is the removal of horn tissue in calves) or dehorning to be given effective local anaesthetic pain relief (as a minimum).

“Failure to comply may result in fines from $3000 for an individual to $25,000 for a body corporate,” Dr Beattie said.

“In many cases horn removal is performed by veterinarians or technicians but farmers with appropriate training and a local anaesthetic veterinary authorisation may also perform the procedure,” she said.

The association has delivered a series of workshops on the new regulations to member veterinarians around the country.

“We have also developed new and updated existing policies, guidance and standard operating procedures, which include step-by-step best practice instructions for these common procedures.

“Only veterinarians are legally mandated to authorise non-veterinarians to use registered veterinary medicines such as local anesthetic.

“Veterinary staff (including veterinary technicians) can perform the procedures, a veterinary authorisation can be issued to the farmer (or person in charge), or veterinary operating instructions can be given to someone who is not the animal owner or person in charge.

“We encourage farmers to speak to their veterinarian about which option will work best for them.”

NZVA member veterinarians can find more information on the new regulations, including guidance materials, policies and standard operating procedures, on the NZVA website.

VETERINARIANS are geared up to help farmers comply with new legal requirements to use local anesthetic during the removal of any horn tissue from cattle.

The new rules will come into force on October 1.

New Zealand Veterinary Association (NZVA) chief veterinary officer Dr Helen Beattie said the NZVA had been educating members to help farmers comply with changes to the Animal Welfare (Care and Procedures) Regulations.

“We support these changes as they are a win for animal welfare. They mean that the immediate pain associated with these common procedures should be eliminated for all cattle,” Dr Beattie said.

“It is important that farmers are aware of their obligations and how best to meet them.”

The new regulations require cattle undergoing disbudding (which is the removal of horn tissue in calves) or dehorning to be given effective local anaesthetic pain relief (as a minimum).

“Failure to comply may result in fines from $3000 for an individual to $25,000 for a body corporate,” Dr Beattie said.

“In many cases horn removal is performed by veterinarians or technicians but farmers with appropriate training and a local anaesthetic veterinary authorisation may also perform the procedure,” she said.

The association has delivered a series of workshops on the new regulations to member veterinarians around the country.

“We have also developed new and updated existing policies, guidance and standard operating procedures, which include step-by-step best practice instructions for these common procedures.

“Only veterinarians are legally mandated to authorise non-veterinarians to use registered veterinary medicines such as local anesthetic.

“Veterinary staff (including veterinary technicians) can perform the procedures, a veterinary authorisation can be issued to the farmer (or person in charge), or veterinary operating instructions can be given to someone who is not the animal owner or person in charge.

“We encourage farmers to speak to their veterinarian about which option will work best for them.”

NZVA member veterinarians can find more information on the new regulations, including guidance materials, policies and standard operating procedures, on the NZVA website.

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