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Many Options Available for Mitigating Pain During Painful Procedures

26 July 2016
Manitoba Pork Council

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CANADA - The Veterinary Council with the Canadian Pork Council says pork producers have a number of effective options to choose from for managing pain in pigs during painful procedures, writes Bruce Cochrane.

As of July 1 Canada's revised Code of Practice for the Care and Handling of Pigs requires the use of analgesics control and mitigate pain for all pigs during painful procedures such as castration and tail docking and the use of both analgesics and anesthetics for pigs over 10 days of age.

Dr Egan Brockhoff, the Veterinary Counsel with the Canadian Pork Council, says there's a lot of options available today for livestock producers to manage pain.

Dr Egan Brockhoff- Canadian Pork Council:

We have a number of injectable options and we have some oral options as well and we are working on finding some topical options to consider.

At our practice we're using injectable and water soluble that we just squirt into the mouth to manage pain for pigs and those models are working very well.

They're very simple to administer.

We've done a lot of internal farm trials where we're measuring the time it takes to add this extra step and we haven't seen a big change in time and in most situations no change in the processing time for piglets.

Administration is really easy.

We've got really simple injectable and really simple oral options now for pork producers to consider.
Efficacy, how well do they work is a question I get asked all the time.

We've been doing a lot of trials at our veterinary practice on how pain management products impact behavior and impact the well being of the pig.

We've done some really fun trials with obstacle courses and jumps to see how the pigs react to pain after these various procedures and how they react after we've given them the analgesics.

We're doing these in commercial barn settings and the outcomes have been really great.
The pork producers working with us notice the difference.

Dr Brockhoff says it's a very inexpensive and a very practical way to manage pain.

ThePigSite News Desk

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