Email alerts

Subscribe to our mailing list


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.


Zanda McDonald’s Legacy

April 3, 2014

THROUGH his public endorsements and use of topical anaesthetic on cattle being de-horned, castrated and branded on his family’s properties across northern Australia, Zanda McDonald was out to prove that a little extra trouble in the yards could reap a lot of extra benefit.

It’s a philosophy that has grabbed the attention of global livestock welfare authority Professor Temple Grandin, who believes the Australian company Animal Ethics has hit on a winner with the development of a topical preparation to relieve cattle pain.

In a letter sent last month to Animal Ethics owner Allan Giffard, Prof Grandin said she was “very impressed” with the product, and could see it being used in the United States.

“Ranchers who raise cattle in extensive pastures need a product that they can easily apply at the time of castration. Handling each beef calf twice to first apply an anesthetic and then do the surgery will cause too much stress in wild, extensively raised cattle,” the letter said.

“I strongly recommend that topical anesthetic gels should be approved by the FDA for use in farm animals.”

But the question of who will pay for the product to be developed into a commercial preparation registered for cattle remains unanswered.

The product being used in trials is based on Tri-sulfen, the compound now used to kill pain in about 75 per cent of Australia’s mulesed lambs.

Building on Animal Ethics’ research, Bayer developed and released the product in 2011, but Bayer Animal Health country division head Andrew Mason, said adapting it for use in the cattle industry would cost upwards of $5 million.

“It would take five to seven years to get it into the market. From a commercial viability perspective, for us it doesn’t stack up,” Mr Mason said.

Mr Mason said regulatory hurdles and the time taken to clear them were the financial disincentives for Bayer to pursue the project on its own.

But he said the company was willing to continue trialling the product with existing partners, Meat and Livestock Australia and the Sydney University.

“Our next stage is to say to industry: ‘Here’s the solution, and we’re going to have to form collaborations’,” he said.

“We’re not walking away from it, but we need industry support.”

Mr Mason said he believed Zanda had set the commercial cattle producer a fine example in his preparedness to get on the front foot with animal welfare.

“Zanda was actively doing something about it, but he was proactive in saying this was something we needed to address as an industry. He always stood for doing the right thing by his livestock.”

Animal Liberation Australia executive director Mark Pearson said livestock producers like Zanda McDonald had helped to reshape the animal welfare debate.

“We welcome this really important advancement in the acceptance that farm animals do feel pain – that’s the middle ground now.”

Mr Pearson said the challenge for the beef industry now was to make a pain-relieving product commercially available, and soon.

“We really need to ramp up R&D into not just developing a product but also breeding out horned cattle,” he said.

Director of Animal Ethics and board member of AWI Meredith Shiel said that without Zanda the cattle industry needed to continue to push the middle ground forward.

“Zanda was so inspirational and passionate about recognising early on that the cattle industry didn’t want to end with the situation the sheep industry found itself in – a head butt between the animal liberation movement and producers,” Dr Shiel said.

She believes the beef industry can keep public opinion on side if it keeps moving forward with each step made possible by scientific advances.

“It’s about accepting that we can’t solve these things overnight but we can make progress, and that’s what Zanda was about it – how we can solve it.”

When the McDonalds start mustering on their Cloncurry district properties later this month, Zanda’s mother, Christine, said they would once again be using the pain-relief spray that Zanda so championed.