VPB: Sedation of Rams for Shearing
Veterinarians are able to prescribe acepromazine for sedation of rams to the owner of these animals if the veterinarian has either physically examined the rams or has these rams under his or her direct care. The amount dispensed must be limited to that required to sedate the number of rams needing sedation and you must be confident in the owner's ability to safely administer this sedation.
In recent years the shearing industry has implemented strict procedures and guidelines to ensure that the industry’s working population goes ‘home’ safe and sound each night.
As part of this safety shift, the sedation of rams has become ‘standard practice’. Although SafeWork NSW does not ‘mandate’ the specific use or practice of sedating rams prior to shearing, the overarching legislation to keep workers safe, would certainly consider not sedating rams an unacceptable practice given the ever increasing size of Merino rams and even more so with the larger ‘meat’ breeds.
Whilst the administration of sedation is a restricted act of veterinary science the owner of the animal is considered an exempt person under the Veterinary Practice Act 2003.