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Schweiz Arch Tierheilkd. 2003 Jun;145(6):273-82.

[Delegation of castration of calves and lambs to the livestock owner: internet survey of members of the Swiss Association for Ruminant Medicine].

[Article in German]

Author information

  • 1Wiederkäuerklinik, Departement für klinische Veterinärmedizin, Bremgartenstrasse 109a, 3012 Bern. adrian.steiner@knp.unibe.ch


According to the Swiss Federal law on animal protection and welfare, painful manipulations in animals have to be performed by a veterinarian under local or general anaesthesia, except for some specifically listed surgical interventions (article 65 of the by-law on animal protection). On September 1, 2001, castration of calves and lambs has been deleted from this list of exceptions. Since then, several pressure groups have requested these interventions to be delegated to the producers for economical reasons. The current article describes the results of a web-based survey on this subject, conducted among the members of the Swiss Association of ruminant practitioners (SARP). Two separate questionnaires--one focused on calves and one on lambs--were made available to the members of the SARP for a duration of 3 months as pdf-files on the homepage of the SARP (www.svwasmr.ch). On December 31, 2002, the deadline for submission of the completed questionnaires, the membership of the SARP was constituted of 360 practicing veterinarians. The response rate was 25%. Close to a hundred percents of the responding veterinarians expressed the expectation that the SARP publish guidelines on the castration of calves and lambs. An overwhelming majority refused the delegation of castrations to the producers, and further stated that they were not ready to accept any responsibility for interventions performed by the producers. However, a third of the responding veterinarians judged the expected workload for the castration of lambs to presumably exceed their current capacity. It is concluded from the results of this survey that the board of the SARP should urgently elaborate, discuss, and propose novel and innovative concepts to solve the issue of castration of calves and lambs.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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