Teaching standard agricultural practices that are known to be painful.

J. J. McGlone, T. A. Hicks

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Animal science faculty teach, demonstrate, and ask students to perform procedures that are known to be painful. Potentially painful procedures include castration, branding, dehorning, ear notching, teeth clipping, beak trimming, comb and wattle removal, and tail docking. In each case, the degree of pain experienced by an animal is generally not known. Furthermore, the consequences of animals having to endure pain are also not fully understood. A survey was conducted of animal science faculty to identify current departmental policies and practices related to castration in beef and swine production classes. Departments vary in what they require of students. Departments should set a policy to address 1) which (and how) potentially painful procedures are taught and 2) how the faculty deal with students who refuse to participate in putatively painful procedures. The institutional animal care and use committee should approve potentially painful teaching procedures after instructor and department have concluded that teaching such procedures is essential to a complete educational experience.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1071-1074
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of animal science
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 1993


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