System that prevents lamb pain at marking

Delivering lamb pain relief

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PAIN FREE: Robin Smith is lamb marking at Lewisham, in Tasmania, and using the Numnuts system.

PAIN FREE: Robin Smith is lamb marking at Lewisham, in Tasmania, and using the Numnuts system.

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Numnuts patented technology is a practical, farmer-friendly method for alleviating the pain suffered when lambs go through essential procedures.

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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.

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