New Pain Control Requirements For Livestock
Provided by the BCSPCA

Beginning in 2016, new requirements for the use of pain control will kick in for farmers conducting castration and other routine procedures on pigs and cattle, according to the Canadian Codes of Practice for the care and handling of farm animals.

Code of PracticePain Control if Required For
Pigs (2014)
  • Castration over 10 days of age, effective immediately
  • Tail docking over 7 days of age, effective immediately
  • Castration and tail docking at any age, effective July 1, 2016
Beef Cattle (2013)
  • Castration of bulls over 9 months of age, effective January 1, 2016
  • Dehorning after horn bud attachment, effective January 1, 2016
  • Castration of bulls over 6 months of age, effective January 1, 2018
  • Also: spaying requires veterinary consultation, effective immediately
Dairy Cattle (2009)
  • Castration, disbudding, dehorning, and branding at any age
Sheep (2013)
  • Surgical castration over 4 weeks of age
  • Clamp castration over 6 weeks of age
  • Ring castration over 10 weeks of age
  • Surgical tail docking at any age
  • Ring tail docking over 6 weeks of age
  • Disbudding, dehorning, or substantial horn trimming at any age
Equines (2013)
  • Castration at any age, including both a local anesthetic and NSAID
  • Consult the Code directly for details on who is authorized to perform castration
  • Tail nicking and blocking are unacceptable and must not be performed
  • Tail docking for cosmetic purposes is unacceptable and must not be performed