Comments on the dilemma in the June issue: ‘A stitch in time . . .’

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The dilemma in the June issue of In Practice concerned a number of ewes with inexpertly stitched vulvas. The client at a large sheep farm had called about difficult lambings, but while there you noticed that in some cases the ewes' sutures had ripped through the tissue (In Practice, June 2014, volume 36, pages 310-311). Paul Roger suggested that the best way forward might be to first consider how avoidable the situation was and whether the corrective action taken by the farmer was at all in the best interest of the ewes. He proposed that if the Bühner method hadn't been used, along with anaesthetic, analgesia, anti-inflammatories and antibiotics, then the client would need to be educated. It should be stressed that such action could be interpreted as inflicting unnecessary suffering and an offence under the Animal Welfare Act 2006; the farmer should also be encouraged to use veterinary services more often to help plan strategies to prevent similar incidents in the future.

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