Relieving livestock pain involves first assessing it

Hans Coetzee of Iowa State University talks about relieving pain in livestock at the VISION event in Kansas City, Nov. 11, 2014.With a growing demand for improved animal welfare, the search is on for livestock pain relief.  There are no FDA approved drugs to relieve pain in livestock.  Hans Coetzee at Iowa State University is in search of one, but at the same time, is searching for a means to determine whether a compound is effective.

“Consumers are concerned about how livestock are produced and one of the areas of concern has been painful procedures and the impact this might have on the animal, and so I think it’s very important for us in production agriculture to try to find drugs that are effective in alleviating pain,” Coetzee told Brownfield Ag News.  “In order to do that we need to find ways to be able to assess or measure that pain.”

Coetzee tells Brownfield that cattle are what he refers to as a stoic species that doesn’t outwardly show that they’re in pain.  Scientists instead read subtle physiological changes that indicate stress from pain.  Coetzee was part an animal welfare panel discussion recently in Kansas City.

AUDIO: Hans Coetzee (4 min. MP3)

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