The use of pain relief after surgical mulesing of sheep increased by 10 per cent in 2014, compared to the previous year.
The anaesthetic spray Tri-Solfen has only been available since 2011 and this is the first time the developer, Animal Ethics Pty Ltd, has released sensitive sales data.
It shows 58 per cent of all lambs that had the skin cut away from the breech, for a lifetime protection against fly strike, were given a spray of Tri-Solfen.
The flip-side is 42 per cent of lambs received no pain relief.
Animal Ethics managing director Allan Giffard said pain relief use was highest in South Australia, and lowest in Queensland.
Animal Ethics Pty Ltd said at a cost of 50 to 60 cents per dose, sheep producers nationally spent more than $4.5 million on pain relief last year.
Mr Giffard said it was positive to see the increased take-up of pain relief.
Of the 14.3 million lambs mulesed in 2014, just over nine million were treated with pain relief.
The company used figures based on Australian Wool Innovation breech surgery statistics, as well as Tri-Solfen sales, to arrive at the final number.
“In Queensland there are a bit over 900,000 lambs mulesed, and of that we had treatment rates of 148,000 lambs with pain relief in mulesing, ” Mr Giffard said.
“Tri-Solfen works in four different ways; stopping the pain when applied to the nerve endings, it stops the bleeding, it stops the infection and it’s been shown by Sydney University to improve the wound healing rates quite dramatically as well,” he said.
The company said it was researching a practical way to give lambs pain relief prior to mulesing. FULL ARTICLE