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Use of Lidocaine in Pigs for Pain Mitigation

02 April 2014

US - The swine veterinarians' association offers its view on the use of lidocaine to relieve pain in pigs following castration and tail-docking.

The interest in responding to concerns about finding a way to provide swine farmers with a mechanism to mitigate pain associated with castration and tail docking has led veterinarians to consider the use of analgaesics, says Harry Snelson of the American Association of Swine Veterinarians (AASV).

The discussion has revolved around the lack of approved analgesic/anesthetic products for use in swine. Lidocaine is one product that has been considered.

It is AASV's opinion that, although not approved for use in swine, lidocaine is approved by FDA and, therefore, could be used in an extra-label manner if the conditions can be met of the Animal Medicinal Drug Use Clarification Act of 1994 (AMDUCA).

AMDUCA requires:

  • the existence of a valid Veterinary-Client-Patient Relationship (VCPR)
  • extra-label use limited to circumstances when a threat is posed to the health of an animal, or when failure to treat results in suffering or death
  • the lack of an approved product to address the issue,
  • the availability of an approved animal or human drug that would address the issue,
  • the product be administered on the direction of a licensed veterinarian, appropriately labelled and assigned an extended withdrawal time to avoid violative residues.

ThePigSite News Desk

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