Manipulating animals to adapt them to the rearing environment, such as beak trimming in chicken and tail docking in sheep, is an important issue in animal welfare. Alternatives are being sought for the often painful procedures. A team of scientists has investigated dehorning cattle and its alternatives in Europe. Most cows across Europe have no horns anymore. Have they all been dehorned?
A special issue of Livestock Science, edited by Jack Windig from ABGC and with several contributions from ABGC, addresses issues such as: Why cattle are dehorned? Is dehorning painful and can we relieve the pain? What are the alternatives to dehorning? Is it possible to keep cows with horns in free stalls? Do all cows have horns? Is it possible to breed polled cattle and can genomic selection help to produce such cows without horns? Specialists in animal behaviour, welfare, genetics, breeding, veterinary medicine and archaeology will provide an overview of these issues. Everyone involved in cattle breeding, production and welfare will find something of interest in this special issue. The issue can be found here.