Training package


The provision of pain relief with routine husbandry practices is now an expectation, and producers need to consider the use of pain relief products in their animals, but also alternate husbandry procedures and management practices. 

This module outlines available products, their costs and when they are suitable to use, as well as best practice recommendations for specific husbandry practices, and considerations for alternatives to some current husbandry practices.

Additional resources and further reading are available in the Materials tab.

Learning objectives

At completion of this module, you will:

  • understand the animal welfare standards and guidelines for painful sheep husbandry procedures
  • understand the differences between popular pain relief options
  • understand the differences between immediate and chronic pain in sheep
  • understand the differences between local  anaesthetics and NSAIDs
  • be able to identify the best pain relief option to use for different husbandry procedures.

Fact Sheet: Pain relief in Sheep

Fact Sheet: Pain relief

Further reading and references

Small, A, Fisher, A, Lee,C and Colditz,I (2020). Gap Evaluation of Pain Alleviation Research. Final Report to AWI.

Colditz, I, Paull, D, Lloyd, J, Johnstone, L and Small, A (2019). Efficacy of meloxicam in a pain model in sheep. Aust Vet J;97: 23-32.

Small, A, Marini, D, Dyall, T, Paull D, and Lee, C (2018).  A randomised field study evaluating the effectiveness of buccal meloxicam and topical local anaesthetic formulations administered singly or in combination at improving welfare of female Merino lambs undergoing surgical mulesing and hot knife tail docking. Res.Vet. Sci; 118: 305-311.

Small, A, Belson, S, Holm, M and Colditz, I (2014). Efficacy of a buccal meloxicam formulation for pain relief in Merino lambs undergoing knife castration and tail docking in a randomised field trial. Aust Vet J;92: 382-388.

Paull, D, Lee, C, Colditz, I and Fisher, A (2009). Effects of a topical anaesthetic formulation and systemic carprofen, given singly or in combination, on the cortisol and behavioural responses of Merino lambs to castration. Aust Vet J; 87: 230-237.

Graham, M, Kent, E and Molony,V (1997). Effects of Four Analgesic Treatments on the Behavioural and Cortisol Responses of 3-week-old Lambs to Tail Docking. Vet Journal; 153: 87-97.

Lomax, S, Sheil, M and Windsor, PA (2013). Duration of action of a topical anaesthetic formulation for pain management of mulesing in sheep. Aust Vet J; 91: 160-167.

Discover Long Lasting Oral Pain Relief for Cattle and Sheep.


About Instructor

Meat & Livestock Australia

MLA’s purpose is to foster the long-term prosperity of the Australian red meat and livestock industry by investing in research and marketing activities. Through our subsidiary companies, we also accelerate innovation across the value chain and deliver the industry’s integrity and on-farm quality assurance programs.

18 Training packages

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Training package Includes

  • 9 Items
  • 5 Quizzes