Journal article

Knowledge and attitudes are important factors in farmers' choice of lamb tail docking length

ME Woodruff, R Doyle, G Coleman, L Hemsworth, C Munoz

Veterinary Record | BMJ PUBLISHING GROUP | Published : 2020

Abstract

BACKGROUND: Tail docking is common practice in the sheep industry to prevent soiling of the breech and flystrike. To ensure optimal healing after tail docking and reduce the risk of arthritis, perineal cancers and prolapses, it is recommended to dock tails equivalent to the length of the vulva. However, recent studies have found that some tails are docked too short (24-86 per cent). METHODS: To address this issue, this study aimed to identify key drivers behind tail docking length decisions. Two focus groups, phone (n=30) and online surveys (n=21) were conducted in regional Victoria, Australia to examine farmer knowledge of and attitudes towards appropriate lamb tail length and barriers to b..

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