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Testimonials

Since Tri-Solfen® was commercially launched, over 80 million lambs have been treated and over 80% of Australian wool growers are now using Tri-Solfen for their sheep. Here’s what some of them have to say…

‘We have used pain relief for two years now and seen real production gains. We are concerned for the welfare of our animals and will continue to use pain relief to ensure they get the best care.’

Clinton Wise– Wililoo Merino Stud, Woodanilling, W.A.

'It easy to see the difference pain relief makes. Before, lambs would walk away hunched up, even taking a couple of hours to walk back to the paddock. Now they run straight back to Mum and start suckling,” says Rod. “My wool is now sold under the Better Choices brand. I see this as a definite advantage. I think it will be an advantage in the long run, to both me and the industry as a whole.'

Rod Miller– Glenpaen Merino Stud, Horsham, Vic

'After being treated with pain relief my lambs were more content and less stressed. As farmers we are sincere in looking after the welfare of our animals and using pain relief demonstrates this.'

Richard Coole– Frankland, W.A.

'We have been using pain relief for the past three years. We’re impressed by reduced bleeding in the mulesing wound immediately after application. Lambs run straight back to find the ewe, which has dramatically reduced our mortality rates. Flock management, post lamb marking is easier due to the effect of pain relief and the scab healing faster.'

Ryan & Malcom O’Dea– Peepingee Merino Stud, Narrogin, W.A.

'Using pain relief eases the stress and allows lambs to mother up and move back to the paddock easier with faster weight gains.'

Kent Lummis– Waverley Downs, Gilgandra, NSW

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Patent Portfolio

Country Species Patent
Australia Sheep Granted
Australia Horses, Dogs, Lab animals Granted
Australia Cattle Granted
Australia Humans Granted
New
Zealand
Sheep,
Cattle
Granted
New
Zealand
Horses, Dogs, Lab animals Granted
EU Humans Granted
EU Pig, Sheep,
Cattle
Granted
USA Dogs, Horses, Lab animals Granted
USA Humans Granted
USA Pig, Sheep,
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Canada Horses, Dogs, Lab animals Granted
Canada Cattle,
Pig
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Canada Humans Granted

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Advisory Board

Ian Page

Non-Executive Director

Ian is Chief Executive Officer of Dechra Pharmaceuticals, which has a 33% shareholder in Medical Ethics. He joined National Veterinary Services, Dechra’s former services business in 1989 and joined the Board of Dechra in 1997. In October 2010, Ian was appointed as Non-Executive Chairman of Sanford DeLand Asset Management.

Dr Chris Roberts

Human Wound and Regulatory Advisor

Chris has over 20 years’ line management experience of heading clinical research teams. He was previously global head of Smith & Nephew clinical support and market development, where he managed global clinical Phase II and III programmes in the management of venous and pressure ulcers.

Lieutenant Colonel Professor Steven Jeffery

Medical Specialist Advisor

Steve has over 15 years’ experience in military plastic surgery. In 2011 he was awarded the Military Civilian Partnership Award for ‘Regular of the Year’, as well as receiving the Wounds UK ‘Key Contribution’ award and the Smith and Nephew ‘Customer Pioneer of the Year’ award. He has also been awarded Fellowship of the Royal College of Surgeons of England ad eundum. He is an expert adviser to NICE Medical Technologies Evaluation Programme. Steve co-founded the Woundcare 4 Heroes charity, which is already making a big difference to the wound care of both serving and veteran personnel.

Dr Matthew Bayfield

Medical Specialist Scientific Director

Dr Matthew Bayfield, Head of Cardiothoracic Surgery, Strathfield Private Hospital and VMO Cardiothoracic Surgeon, Royal Prince Alfred Hospital.

Professor Peter Windsor

Veterinarian Research Advisor

Peter is a registered specialist veterinary surgeon in New South Wales and an emeritus Professor at Sydney University. He holds a BVSc (Hons), PhD, DVSc and diploma from the European College of Small Ruminant Health Management.

Dr Julian Braidwood

Global Regulatory Affairs Advisor

Julian has held leadership roles and managed international clinical projects with Grampian. He was previously Regulatory Affairs Manager at Novartis Animal Health. He is the Founder and Managing Director of Triveritas, where he is responsible for a team of 40 animal health specialists across the EU and the US.

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Pain management adoption on Australian sheep farms

October 31, 2011

By Professor Peter Windsor, University of Sydney – The Land October 20th 2011

Whilst growing up in Wagga in the 50’s and 60’s, I was confronted by what I later came to think of as the big 4 in sheep welfare concerns in Australia, being footrot, flystrike, mulesing and rubber ring castration. It was clear that all caused considerable pain and suffering to sheep and for too long, these were problems largely ignored. Fortunately we have seen incredible progress in eradication of virulent footrot in NSW in recent years and the efforts of the many producers and LHPA staff and others involved in this program is highly commendable. We don’t have to look too far outside the state borders to see the enormous opportunity cost of not engaging in footrot eradication. Flystrike is another story, but is now also becoming a positive tale to tell.

Those raised with treating flyblown sheep have no doubts about the effectiveness of mulesing in providing life-long protection against breech strike. Most rural folk accept the ‘no pain no gain’ argument that has justified the obvious impact of the ‘operation’ on lambs. However the images of mulesing on activist websites and in the European press remain a continual challenge for the credibility of the Australian wool industry. We have an enormous challenge to convince international and urban consumers of wool that such ‘cruelty’ is still a necessity on many Australian farms. But it is now becoming good news.

As community expectations for improved animal welfare have been emerging as a problem, so have solutions. In just over 5 years it appears as we have seen a marked attitudinal change towards pain in livestock. It was generally accepted that ruminant livestock appear to tolerate pain. This was probably more to do with lack of display than perception of pain, presumably as a result of evolutionary protection against predators. In researching pain in ruminants, we have had to use very careful observations to provide measurements of pain involved in the routine husbandry procedures we subject our animals to. This has been necessary for us to measure how we can ameliorate pain.

However the great leap forward in welfare on our sheep farms has been the widespread adoption of topical anaesthesia (TA). Provided on an APVMA permit for purchase through veterinarians and use as a farmer-applied spray on solution at mulesing, TA acts directly on nerve tissue to block conduction of signals responsible for the sensation of pain, providing significant relief even when the agents are administered at or after the mulesing incision. It has been estimated that over 60% of lambs that were mulesed last year were treated with TA and it looks like this might be up to 70% or more this year. This is a fantastic development as it shows us and the world that many of our producers will pay for better welfare outcomes for their livestock. This has occurred even when there are no direct financial returns involved in adoption of TA as an intervention, although perhaps also motivated by protection of or a perceived market risk is a driver for adoption?

Pain management by TA has become integral to our argument to continue to mules until we are able to breed improved breech conformation that reduces flystrike susceptibility in our merino populations. This is a story we are now sharing with our international consumers and commentators. But how effective is TA for other husbandry procedures? We have published work with castration in lambs, with TA applied into the scrotum at surgical castration providing welfare outcomes that we consider are superior to rubber ring castration. Our work with dehorning in calves and castration in calves and piglets also shows promise. It appears that farmer applied TA has the potential to dramatically reduce the burden of acute animal husbandry related pain in a number of routine livestock husbandry procedures. TA is yet another first for Australian agriculture.

The pain relief provides by TA at mulesing is very significant as in addition to reducing suffering in sheep, this ‘technical solution’ appears to have empowered producers to take control of the very emotive issue of mulesing. It is impressive how a relatively simple product can progress a complex and divisive issue towards more rational discussion (by most). Hopefully we will eventually see an ‘adaptive management solution’ emerge where we will no longer need TA for mulesing as flystrike will be minimised by the widespread elimination of breech wrinkle and better management of other risk factors that are important for breech strike control. Until this occurs, I am sure many would agree that if we are to continue with mulesing for an interim period, then we need TA to be readily available to producers. The TA agents used for pain relief at mulesing have now been gazetted for consideration for registration by APVMA. For those who wish to make a submission to APVMA on this issue, the web link is: