To prevent unwanted pregnancies, many female cattle on extensive properties are spayed. Although spaying is less common than other painful procedures, such as dehorning, castration (in males) and branding, it is a highly invasive and painful procedure. Shockingly, this is usually done without pain relief, and can even be performed on pregnant animals.
The unfortunate animal may suffer one of three common techniques:
- Dropped ovary technique: The wall of her vagina is pierced with a sharp tool, which is then used to cut off each ovary, leaving them to fall into her abdomen.
- Flank method: The skin and tissue layers on her left side are cut open, so that her ovaries can be reached and cut out.
- Webbing: A portion of her fallopian tubes is cut out.
As a result of spaying cows can suffer severe blood loss, infections and reduced growth rate.
Click here to take a glimpse at the other painful procedures most cattle in Australia must endure.