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Scottish Farmers can Legally Ring Lambs up to 12 Weeks of Age Using Numnuts

In a reassuring development for the Scottish agricultural community, Andrew Voas, the Scottish Government’s Veterinary Head of Animal Welfare, has confirmed that farmers in Scotland can legally use Numnuts for castrating or tail docking lambs up to 12 weeks old, provided an anaesthetic is administered.

This clarification brings significant relief to Scottish farmers and veterinarians seeking reassurance on the legality of using Numnuts. This innovative method minimizes the pain and distress typically associated with traditional rubber ringing procedures. Scottish legislation allows this practice up to 3 months, ensuring adherence to animal welfare standards and providing a compassionate alternative to older methods.

In contrast, the current legislation in England and Wales is more restrictive, with rubber rings for castration or tail docking being prohibited on lambs older than 7 days.

Scottish farmers can now proceed confidently, knowing their practices are both legally sound and ethically considerate. As for their counterparts in England and Wales, there is a hopeful path forward, advocating for change and the harmonisation of animal welfare practices across the UK. 


See article: Enhancing Lamb Welfare The UK AWC Report 2022

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