IT is imperative that the pain and distress caused by essential husbandry procedures, such as tail docking and dehorning, are minimised. It is therefore necessary to monitor current findings about the physiological basis of the distress caused by painful husbandry practices, so that efforts can be made to minimise that distress. Since two or more methods (eg, cautery or cryocautery) can usually be used to achieve one husbandry purpose (eg, branding), this raises the question of which method causes the least pain-induced distress. As knowledge grows, judgements about the acceptability of different husbandry procedures may require revision.
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