Pain Control For Dehorning

The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) has released a new video promoting its policy on how to reduce pain for cattle during dehorning.

The AVMA policy and informational video offer guidance to help make this procedure as comfortable as possible for animals.

Dr. Cia Johnson of the AVMA Animal Welfare Division said AVMA policy recommends that, to reduce discomfort for the animal, dehorning be done at the earliest age possible and that consideration be given to the use of local anesthetics (e. g., lidocaine) and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory agents for pain control.

The new video demonstrates the use of local anesthetic and disbudding (a dehorning technique applied to young calves), and helps educate farmers and the general public about how pain management can improve an animals’ welfare. For more information, please visit www.avma.org.

GM Chickens Don’t Spread Bird Flu

British scientists have developed genetically modified (GM) chickens that cannot transmit bird flu infections – a step that in future could reduce the risk of avian flu spreading and causing deadly epidemics in humans.

Scientists from Cambridge and Edinburgh universities said that while the transgenic chickens still got sick and died when they were exposed to H5N1 bird flu, they didn’t transmit the virus to other chickens they came into contact with.

“Preventing virus transmission in chickens should reduce the economic impact of the disease and reduce the risk posed to people,” said Laurence Tiley, of Cambridge’s department of veterinary medicine.

H5N1 bird flu has been circulating in Asia and the Middle East, with occasional outbreaks in Europe, since 2003 and has killed or forced the destruction of hundreds of millions of birds, according to the world animal health organization OIE.

Experts say the danger is that the virus will evolve into a form that people can easily catch and pass to one another, producing a pandemic.

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