The AVMA recognizes that castration and dehorning of cattle are important for human and animal safety when cattle are used for agricultural purposes. Because castration and dehorning cause pain and discomfort, the AVMA recommends the use of procedures and practices that reduce or eliminate these effects. These include genetic selection when appropriate and use of approved or AMDUCA-permissible clinically effective medications whenever possible. Studies indicate that preoperative use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory agents and local anesthetics reduces pain and distress associated with castration and dehorning.
Research leading to new or improved techniques that reduce or eliminate pain and distress associated with castration and dehorning, or development of viable alternates to castration and dehorning, is encouraged.
Welfare Implications of Dehorning and Disbudding of Cattle (PDF)
Extralabel Drug Use and AMDUCA (FAQ)
2014 American Veterinary Medical Association