Feedstuffs is part of the Informa Markets Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them. Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

dairy cow eyes closeup_stefbennett_iStock_Getty Images-646927608.jpg stefbennett/iStock/Getty Images

AABP updates dehorning guidelines

Due to emphasis on animal welfare and newer pain mitigation options available, AABP updates calf dehorning guidelines.

In 2014, the American Association of Bovine Practitioners (AABP) established guidelines for the dehorning and castration of calves. On a regular basis, AABP reviews and updates its guidelines to make continual improvements over time and to make sure they incorporate the latest scientific evidence and recommendations.

In 2019, AABP separated the guidelines for dehorning (updated November 2019) from castration (updated August 2019), the group said in a Dec. 30 announcement.

The updated dehorning guidelines can be found publicly or on the AABP homepage (https://aabp.org) under the Home tab. The updated castration guidelines can also be found publicly.

“AABP felt that the topics of castration and dehorning differed enough that it made sense to develop separate guidelines to focus on the issues and considerations specific to each topic,” AABP animal welfare committee chair Dr. Renee Dewell with Iowa State University explained.

Dehorning cattle is a necessary procedure to reduce the risk of injury to the animal, other cattle and people, and during transportation to slaughter facilities, the practice reduces bruising of carcasses, AABP said, noting that it recognizes that there are management differences in performing this procedure for newborn calves in the cow/calf and dairy industries.

AABP said because dairy calves are handled daily, the guideline recommends that disbudding/dehorning be performed no later than eight weeks of age. The beef industry has made significant improvements in utilizing polled genetics, and currently only 7.8% of beef cattle are born with horns, according to the "National Animal Health Management System Beef 2017 Cow-Calf Survey" from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

“One significant update in the dehorning guidelines is the recommendation that pain mitigation protocols for dehorning be considered a standard of care,” Dewell said. “This was done to reflect the considerable body of scientific evidence that has shown that calves benefit from pain mitigation protocols associated with dehorning and disbudding procedures.”

“AABP is the ‘go-to’ organization for government and policy-makers when it comes to issues of cattle health, production and well-being,” added AABP president Dr. Calvin Booker from Okotoks, Alb. “As a result, it is imperative that AABP is a leader in developing and updating guidelines and position statements affecting these topic areas.”

Specifically, the AABP animal welfare committee updated the sections in the guidelines on proper restraint, local anesthesia and systemic pain relief.

“The updated guidelines provide science-based recommendations to help veterinarians and producers best raise the animals entrusted to their care,” Dewell added.

AABP is a membership-based, not-for-profit organization serving cattle veterinary medicine professionals across the U.S., Canada and other countries.

TAGS: News Dairy Beef
Hide comments
account-default-image

Comments

  • Allowed HTML tags: <em> <strong> <blockquote> <br> <p>

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
Publish