Rapid relief for sheep with NumNuts
A CHEEKILY named pain product for sheep is poised to drive improvements in animal husbandry practices by providing rapid pain relief in the castration and tail docking process.
NumNuts, developed by Meat & Livestock Australia (MLA) and Scottish engineering firm 4cDesign, incorporates a single action handheld ring activator and injection mechanism to administer a local anaesthetic - lignocaine, as used by the dental industry - to quickly and effectively reduce pain.
Proof of Concept trials
Proof-of-concept trials have shown serious reductions in pain behaviour such as ‘tucked up’ posture, bleating and lying down when sheep are treated using the NumNuts tool.
MLA Program Manager, Animal Health, Welfare and Biosecurity, Dr Jim Rothwell, said NumNuts would be a simple and effective tool, easily used by producers to achieve excellent gains in animal husbandry.
"Our research has demonstrated the ability of this tool to very rapidly reduce pain throughout husbandry processes that are important to both production and broader animal safety," he said.
"The NumNuts tool will allow producers to administer effective pain relief in a safe, controlled and fast-acting manner without the need for a veterinarian to be present, making it a practical and economically viable option for on-farm use.
Happy animals are productive
"We know happy animals are productive animals and this new technology shows the proactivity and willingness across the sector to continually seek to innovate in the area of animal welfare and to embrace best practice."
The tool is expected to cost around 20c/treatment and is designed for lambs aged two to 12 weeks which is the recommended age for marking lambs under the new Australian Animal Welfare Standards and Guidelines.