The three recipients were announced during Bayer’s Future Farming Dialogue being held in Germany and the Netherlands last week. Dr Dominique van der Saag was selected for her research into novel ways in which calves can self-administer pain relief after husbandry practices such as de-horning or castration. Together with her team of five scientists, Dr van der Saag uses medicated lick blocks to provide a constant level of pain relief in a way that limits the handling of the cattle, therefore improving
welfare outcomes. “Whilst studying my bachelor in animal and veterinary bioscience at the University of Sydney, my interest in livestock and animal well-being really grew,” she said.
“I began to see how improvement of livestock welfare through the use of pain relief was extremely important.” Dr van der Saag said that in many countries, it was not mandatory to use anesthesia or analgesia for painful procedures performed on cattle. “However, there has been a shift in recent years, with producers wanting to take on pain relief practices so long as they are feasible to implement,” she said. “This is the first step towards something that could be much bigger. Currently there are no practical options for long-lasting analgesia in livestock, which is necessary not only for surgical husbandry procedures but many painful conditions.”
“If we can show it has the potential to be effective, this could be a strategy to improve cattle well-being. We would really like to see this grow into something bigger. The Care4Cattle initiative was launched by Bayer in March this year and attracted more than 100 entries across 37 nations. Each of the three winning projects will receive grants worth just under A$50,000.
The initiative aims to recognise forward thinking livestock professionals who have created new ways to advance cattle well-being. The other winning projects include a study by Brazilian Professor Mateus Paranhos da Costa on the effects of different weaning methods on beef calves and an initiative from Reuben Newsome at The Cattle Lameness Academy in the UK to support farmers in dealing with the rising threat of lameness.Download