[Castration of calves: a survey among Swiss suckler beef farmers]

Boesch, Daniel; Steiner, Adrian; Stauffacher, M (2006). [Castration of calves: a survey among Swiss suckler beef farmers]. Schweizer Archiv für Tierheilkunde, 148(5), 231-6, 238. Bern: Huber 10.1024/0036-7281.148.5.231

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In fall 2004, a survey of a representative sample of 1185 Swiss suckler beef farmers was carried out by questionnaire (return rate 51.9%). 32.7% of the respondents castrated their calves without the help of a veterinarian, 37.8% mandated a veterinarian to carry out the castrations and 29.4% did not castrate their bull calves at all. On average, 8 calves were castrated per farm and year at an average age of 7 days when the castration was carried out by a farmer or 34 days when the castration was carried out by a veterinarian. Almost all farmers castrated their calves with the rubber ring, and a majority considered no other method as feasible. 73.9% of the veterinarians used the Burdizzo technique, 14.9% applied rubber rings, and 11.2% performed a surgical procedure. 22.6% of the farmers and 85.4% of the veterinarians used sedation; local anaesthesia was performed in 32.1% of the castrations carried out by farmers and in 84.5% of the castrations carried out by veterinarians. 65.7% of the farmers were concerned by the change of the Swiss Animal Protection Ordinance (2001), when pain relief became mandatory. 47.6% of these farmers changed their castration routine: 53.1% now mandated a veterinarian, 33.0% used sedation or local anaesthesia and 8.9% abandoned castration of their calves. 59.8% of the farmers intended to participate in a future course for laymen, to study and train the technique of local anaesthesia for castration. Castration of their calves is for many suckler beef farmers an inevitable husbandry procedure. The political goal, that all calves shall be castrated with local anaesthesia can only be reached when livestock owners are informed about the distress caused by the castration and convinced of the benefit of the local anaesthesia.Veterinarians are important information carriers in this process. The implementation also produces work, be it the more complex castration procedure or the education of the farmers who want to carry out the local anaesthesia themselves.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


05 Veterinary Medicine > Department of Clinical Veterinary Medicine (DKV) > Clinic for Ruminants

UniBE Contributor:

Boesch, Daniel, Steiner, Adrian


600 Technology > 630 Agriculture








Factscience Import

Date Deposited:

04 Oct 2013 14:45

Last Modified:

05 Dec 2022 14:14

Publisher DOI:


PubMed ID:


Web of Science ID:



https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/18610 (FactScience: 811)

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