Reminder to vets that the use of electronic equipment by farmers or stock persons known as cow “pacifiers” or electroimmobilisers are illegal in the UK.
For those of you not familiar with the process, electroimmobilisation commonly involves the insertion of a probe into the cows rectum, where a low voltage electric current is delivered to produce tetanic contractions in skeletal muscle. This results in a reduction in voluntary movements and the voltage can be increased until the animal is immobilised. It has been commonly marketed in countries such as New Zealand and South Africa as a method for restraining animals for routine procedures such as castrations, dehorning, foot trimming, training heifers in the milking parlour, difficult calving deliveries and other animal husbandry techniques in suckler and dairy cattle. Research has revealed that cattle are aversive to this procedure (Carter and others 1983; Grandin 1988) and that no analgesic effects are produced. Current legislation clearly states that these methods are illegal in the UK.