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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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Australia Sheep Granted
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EU 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 Relief – ABC Landline

August 22, 2011

Reporter: Sean Murphy

ANNE KRUGER, PRESENTER: This year about 5 per cent of Merino sheep across southern Australia have died from blow fly strike. It’s a shocking and agonising death, and for most growers the controversial practice of mulesing is the most effective way of saving their sheep.

Sean Murphy reports on trials of new pain relief medication which some of the industry’s staunchest critics argue is an important interim measure until viable mulesing alternatives are found – and we should warn that viewers may find some of the images in this story confronting.

ON SCREEN: Pain relief

SEAN MURPHY, REPORTER: At Royal Oak near Goulburn in New South Wales it’s lamb marking time. But these super fine wool Petali Merinos are being injected with a light sedative before they undergo the sorts of on-farm surgical operations that are common place across the industry.

A University of Sydney research team is monitoring the effectiveness of using the sedative analgesic Xylazine as a preoperative pain relief measure.

SABRINA LOMAX, UNIVERSITY OF SYDNEY: Preliminary results from small trials that we’ve done so far have shown us that we do get a highly significant difference between lambs that have been treated with Xylazine and lambs that haven’t in terms of their pain responses at the time of mulesing.

And from today’s trial I think we’ll probably see a similar level of significant difference there as well.

(to team) Three.

TEAM MEMBER: Three.

SEAN MURPHY: Mulesing is a confronting but necessary procedure. It’s the surgical removal of skin folds which catch dung and urine and attract blow flies. This year’s wet summer saw more than 5 per cent of ewes and wethers across southern Australia die from fly strike.

It’s an agonising death but the pain of prevention has damaged the Australian wool industry’s international standing.

Faced with retail boycotts, the industry’s marketing and research company, Australian Wool Innovation has promised to encourage growers to use pain relief until alternatives to mulesing are found.

Xylazine is already an approved veterinary product. Its application in small doses is being developed by Animal Ethics, the same company which introduced the post-operative spray treatment trisulphin.

(Lamb hung upside down with bloody patch of skin under tail)

CHICK OLSSON, ANIMAL ETHICS: It’s been elusive find something we could use that was so easy and so practical, so this for us is probably closing a loop seven years ago of a full pre and post operation that I think is the ultimate alternative for mulesing and other operations.

SABRINA LOMAX: This method we found works much better.

SEAN MURPHY: Former AWI director Chick Olsson is a major shareholder in Animal Ethics. He said trisulphin will be used on more than five million lambs this year and he hopes the new preoperative treatment has the same take up.

But he says it’s not just farmers that need convincing. At this trial, the RSPCA and animal liberation were interested observers.

CHICK OLSSON: You have to bring these people in. You have to be inclusive. You have to be transparent. We came in to an industry where these people were being sued by the former regime and our view point is, let’s bring them in together. Let’s make them part of the team and if they truly believe in welfare they’ll work with us on it.

So it’s critical that they’re here.

SEAN MURPHY: Animal Ethics technical director Dr Meredith Shiel is also an AWI director. She’s a paediatrician and fine wool grower who’s been working on pain relief for animals since 2004.

She says the new treatment is complimentary to trisulphin and should be available for about 30 cents a sheep.

DR MEREDITH SHEIL, ANIMAL ETHICS: I think it’s important for us to do a wide range of field trials and that’s what today is about. We want to look at the dose and the applicator, make sure we can get a product that farmers can use that’s safe, that’s effective in a whole range of environments – whether you’re in the middle of outback or whether you’re in the top of mountains in the middle of winter.

So for us it’s a matter of doing more of these field trials over the coming year, but if the results are great, you know, we’re hopeful that we could have a product very quickly.

(Discusses application methods with farmer)

SEAN MURPHY: Animal ethics got a near $500,000 Commonwealth Government grant to help develop its new application.

Dr Sheil says she can manage any perceived conflict of interest between her role with Animal Ethics and as director of AWI.

MEREDITH SHEIL: My interest is clearly declared and I would withdraw from being involved with discussions or voting, for example, on any of those sorts of issues and that’s the way that I have handled it ever since I’ve been on the board.

So wherever the company itself may be investing in research into pain relief or procedures to reduce the need for mulesing, even, you know, my interest in trisolfen is fully open and declared and I’m always willing to withdraw from those sort of conversations and decisions.

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