Why are cattle spayed?

Cattle spaying is done to avoid unwanted pregnancy of animals, often in extensive pastoral areas where females cannot be segregated from males.

In extensive pastoral areas, spaying is often performed using the Willis dropped ovary technique, which involves cutting the ovaries away from their attachments in the abdomen and allowing them to drop within the cow’s body cavity where they remain. The technique involves entry through the vagina and requires a high level of skill. Flank spaying or webbing (removal of the fallopian tubes) is also sometimes used.

RSPCA Australia advocates the development of inexpensive and easily applied hormonal implants to control pregnancy of animals in extensive pastoral areas to avoid the need for spaying. Where spaying is deemed necessary, we believe the procedure must be limited to the Willis dropped ovary technique, and must only be performed by a veterinary surgeon or competent operator trained and experienced in the technique.

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Updated on May 1, 2019
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