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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


Patent Portfolio

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


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.


Pain Relief is the right thing to do

June 2, 2011

By Barb Glen, Lethbridge bureau
June 2, 2011

CALGARY — Pain management in cattle for dehorning and castration may have benefits for producers.

Studies show higher initial rates of gain and lower incidence of bovine respiratory disease in animals given pain relievers before their horns or testicles are removed.

Dr. Hans Coetzee, associate professor at Kansas State University, cautioned those at a University of Calgary veterinary conference May 18 that more study is needed on the subject, but early results show production benefits from minimizing cattle pain.

“Despite the challenges, pain management feels like it’s probably the right thing to do,” said Coetzee.

“Routine analgesic use may certainly help maintain consumer confidence and market access.

Analgesic use may also improve the health and performance of cattle after castration.”

Challenges include accurate assessment of animal pain, access, effectiveness and administration of pain medication, persuading producers of benefits and responding to the scrutiny of animal welfare advocates.

Only one in five U.S. veterinarians uses pain relief at castration, said Coetzee. Access to medication is a major reason hindering use.

“We currently have no analgesic drug specifically approved for use as pain relievers in cattle. There are anti-inflammatories but not analgesics.”

Meloxicam is approved for use in Canada to alleviate pain associated with debudding and dehorning, as recommended by the National Farm Animal Care Council.

Coetzee said a Kansas State study showed a $52 per head difference in returns between late-castrated bulls and steers of the same age.

Cutter bulls exhibited more health problems, incurring costs in treatment and labour.

That indicates pain management might have a financial benefit if it improves animal health after castration, but there are other reasons as well.

“This is the 10,000 kilogram elephant in the room, and we are talking about castration,” he said.

“Increasingly this is a practice that is being scrutinized by animal welfare groups and this is something that we need to keep an eye on, especially faced with the fact that … data suggests that less than one in five U.S. producers or practitioners use any type of analgesia at the time of castration. It is not something that we routinely do with these animals and yet something we need to be aware of from an animal welfare point of view.”

Coetzee said 10 million calves are castrated in the United States every year. Cattle and veterinary groups say anesthetic use is a good idea, but it is not required or legislated.

However, New Jersey has implemented rules for castration and more states could follow that lead, he said.

Animal welfare groups and consumers have an ever-greater influence on cattle production, primarily through restaurant chain policies demanding humane production methods.

Those policies generally apply to audits of the slaughter process and facilities, but Coetzee said that could change.

“These audits have not extended out into the farm, but it’s not beyond the realms of possibility that the next step, especially as the animal rights groups become more active, is that they may then start scrutinizing some of the practices on the farms.”

Coetzee said this increased scrutiny makes identifying and measuring animal pain more important. Researchers have used electroencephalography and thermography to identify reactions in cattle to castra- tion and dehorning.

“There’s no getting away from it that managing pain in these animals is difficult,” he said.

“This is a challenge for us because recognition of pain in stoic species like cattle and sheep is complex.”

Research results indicate a pain response and the next step is testing medications and their respective results.

But medications present their own challenges, Coetzee said. They must be effective against pain, easy to administer, long acting, inexpensive, have short withdrawal periods and show a quantifiable return on investment.

Most producers would prefer a drug that can be top-dressed on feed so that animals could eat it before being castrated or dehorned.

Coetzee said it would eliminate time consuming measures such as injection, topical application or bolus administration and likely increase use by producers.

Meloxicam is among the drugs that show the most promise, he added.

In research, cattle were orally treated with meloxicam tablets for about 25 cents per animal. Pain relief lasted for 27 hours and withdrawal period in Canada is 20 days.

Meloxicam is approved for human treatment of osteoarthritis.