At the end of a busy lamb marking season, many Australian sheep producers can feel satisfied that they have done a good job and reached new standards in animal welfare by using Numnuts.
This is the world's first hand-held device that delivers targeted pain relief at the same time as ring application.
In 2021, a million doses of the anaesthetic NumOcaine were delivered to lambs across Australia, bringing the total since Numnuts' 2019 launch to 2.2 million.
Numnuts patented technology is a practical, farmer-friendly method for alleviating the pain suffered when lambs go through these essential procedures.
The tool enables an operator to inject NumOcaine local anaesthetic at the base of a lamb's testicle or tail before applying the ring in a two-step process.
The effect is rapid numbing that lasts for about an hour, which is the period when lambs experience a pain spike as blood supply is restricted.
The device is the brain child of Scottish design engineer and chief executive officer of Numnuts, Robin Smith.
He has a strong backround in farm animal health and was motivated to design a solution to the challenge of delivering pain relief at the right time during lamb marking, while not compromising on-farm efficiency or productivity.
"It had to be practical, safe and quick to use," he said.
Finding a simple solution took almost 10 years of research and development.
NumNuts is the result of a partnership between Meat & Livestock Australia and 4cDesign.