Surgical procedures under anaesthesia - beef and milk
Cattle are dehorned to keep the animals from injuring one another, or because the horns pose a danger to farm workers. Without anaesthesia, surgical procedures such as castration, dehorning and disbudding by cauterisation cause both pain and stress for the cattle, regardless of the age of the animal. Contracting authorities can contribute to ensuring that surgical procedures are carried out with less pain for the animals by requiring anaesthesia.
- Technical specification
- Milk and dairy from cows
Beef and/or milk products must be derived from animals that have been anaesthetised during any and all surgical procedures, including castration, dehorning or disbudding by cauterisation. Dehorning by caustic paste, and castration by rubber ring are not permitted.
Upon request, the supplier shall be ready to present, for example, one of the following:
- Certification that meets the requirement, such as IP mjölk grundcertifiering [IP Milk base level certification], IP nöt grundcertifiering [IP Beef base level certification], Dansk kalv or other certification showing that the requirement is met.
- Details of the country of origin of beef ingredients and reference to applicable law in cases where national legislation establishes that the requirement is met, e.g., Country of origin: Sweden, chapter 4, section 2 of the Animal Welfare Act (2018:1192) and section 6 of L 41, SJVFS (2019:25).
Monitoring of compliance during the contract period can for example be done through sampling at one or several occasions of one or several products for which the criterion applies. The supplier can prove that the product(s) meet the requirement through, e.g,:
- Certification according to IP nöt och mjölk grundcertifiering [IP Beef and Milk base level certification], Dansk kalv or other certification or production concepts showing that the requirement is met.
- Labelling the country of origin of beef ingredients, e.g., Country of origin Sweden, 'Från Sverige' [From Sweden], 'Mjölk från Sverige [Milk from Sweden] or 'Kött från Sverige' [Meat from Sweden] with written documentation showing that the requirement has been met, e.g., an Importer's Declaration along with a self-assessment in accordance with Miljöhusesyn, audit records or veterinary records.
- Other written documentation showing that the requirement is met.
Contracting authorities may, in specific cases and when motivated, state in the contract terms that documentation is to be verified or reviewed by an independent third party. What does this mean? (only in Swedish)
Information about the criterion
Bloodless castration using a so-called Burdizzo clamp is a surgical procedure that is included in the requirement for anaesthesia according to information from the Swedish Board of Agriculture, 2019.
Market availability may be limited for individual products.
The requirement covers castration of bulls, removal of horns and disbudding calves by cauterisation. Dehorning is primarily used to prevent harm to other animals and the handler. In calves, the keratin is in a growth phase and the tissue contains many nerves and blood vessels. In adult cattle, dehorning without anaesthesia increases the risk of repercussions, such as sinusitis and local pain.
In Sweden it is permitted to castrate and dehorn cattle even where there is no medical reason for doing so according to chapter 4, section 1 of the Animal Welfare Protection Ordinance (2019:66). Dehorning must be done by a veterinarian, other animal healthcare personnel or another individual deemed appropriate by a veterinarian. Any dehorning or castration must always be done under anaesthesia, according to chapter 4, section 2 of the Animal Welfare Act (2018:1192).
Within the EU, surgical procedures are referred to as mutilation, but there is no common EU legislation in the area that applies for all production. Point 19 in the Annex to Council Directive 98/58/EC concerning the protection of animals kept for farming purposes states that, 'pending the adoption of specific provisions concerning mutilation... relevant national provisions shall apply in accordance with the general rules of the Treaty.' In for example Germany and Ireland, castratin and dehorning of young calves is permitted without anaesthesia.1 Organic production requires that surgical procedures are done under anaesthesia.
The version date indicates when the sustainability criterion was created or last updated. Last reviewed dated tells when we last checked that the sustainability criterion still is relevant.
- Current ID
- Version date
2020-03-25: Added "under anaesthesia" in the name. Deleted "local" anaesthesia and "surgical" castration. Deleted Arla ko and IP sigill nöt in verification, added Dansk kalv and information of country of origin with reference to applicable law and documentation.