AABP Updates Dehorning Guidelines

In 2014, the American Association of Bovine Practitioners (AABP) established guidelines for the dehorning and castration of calves. On a regular basis, the AABP reviews and updates its guidelines to make continual improvements over time and to make sure they incorporate the latest scientific evidence and recommendations. In 2019, the AABP separated the guidelines for dehorning (updated November 2019) from castration (updated August 2019).

The updated dehorning guidelines can be found publicly here, or on the AABP homepage under the Home tab. The updated castration guidelines can be found here.

“The AABP felt that the topics of castration and dehorning differed enough that it made sense to develop separate guidelines to focus on the issues and considerations specific to each topic,” explains AABP Animal Welfare Committee Chair Dr. Renee Dewell, Iowa State University. 

 Dehorning cattle is a necessary procedure to reduce the risk of injury to the animal, other cattle and people, and during transportation to slaughter facilities, reduces bruising of carcasses. AABP recognizes the differences in management of newborn calves between the cow-calf and dairy industry in performing this procedure. Because dairy calves are handled daily, the guideline recommends that disbudding/dehorning be performed no later than eight weeks of age. The beef industry has made significant improvements in utilizing polled genetics and currently only 7.8% of beef cattle are born with horns according to the NAHMS Beef 2017 Cow-Calf Survey.

“One significant update in the dehorning guidelines is the recommendation that pain mitigation protocols for dehorning be considered a standard of care,” Dewell says. “This was done to reflect the considerable body of scientific evidence that has shown that calves benefit from pain mitigation protocols associated with dehorning and disbudding procedures.”

“The AABP is the ‘go-to’ organization for government and policy makers when it comes to issues of cattle health, production and well-being,” adds AABP President Dr. Calvin Booker, Okotoks, Alberta. “As a result, it is imperative that the AABP is a leader in developing and updating guidelines and position statements affecting these topic areas.”

Specifically, the AABP Animal Welfare Committee updated the sections in the guidelines on proper restraint, local anesthesia and systemic pain relief.

“The updated guidelines provide science-based recommendations to help veterinarians and producers best raise the animals entrusted to their care,” adds Dewell.

 

Latest News

Black Ink: Valued Partners

Partnerships aren’t always about a 50/50 business arrangement or who gets what tasks, sometimes they’re simply about having a vested interest in somebody else’s success.

12 min ago
As wild pigs continue to expand out of control in Canada, the risk of wild pigs moving into the U.S. is very real. This is especially true for North Dakota and Montana, but given how mobile feral swine are, the risks are far beyond that, says Ryan Brook of the University of Saskatchewan. 
Canada Fights Back Against Out-of-Control Wild Pig Population

Wild pig populations in Canada continue to expand rapidly and are completely out of control in Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Alberta. A new tool may help control this invasive species. Here's why you should take note.

1 hour ago
Broilers
Tyson Settles Anti-trust Case For $221.5 Million

Tyson Foods has agreed to pay a settlement of $221.5 million in the broiler chicken antitrust civil price-fixing lawsuit, according to filings Tuesday in federal court in Chicago.

40 min ago
.
Three Keys to Quality Colostrum for Beef Calves

Calves are wholly dependent on colostrum from their mothers and the instant a calf is born, a clock begins ticking on its colostrum intake that can have lasting effects on its health and productivity

12 min ago
Livestock Producers on Level Playing Field Thanks to MOU Between USDA and FDA

USDA announces the finalization of a MOU with FDA outlining responsibilities concerning the regulation of certain animals developed using genetic engineering that are intended for agricultural purposes. 

1 hour ago
Feedyard cattle
Optigrid 45 Receives Combination Approvals For Finishing Feedlot Cattle

The combination approvals allow Optigrid 45 to be used with other feed additives commonly fed to feedlot cattle, including monensin, tylosin and melengestrol.

5 min ago