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Boshoff Beyers Dehorning

12/25/2012 @ 11:00pm

Dehorning or disbudding is the process of removing or stopping the growth of the horns of livestock. Cattle, sheep, and goats are often dehorned for economic and safety reasons. Horns can pose a risk to humans, to other animals, and to the bearers of the horns themselves (horns are sometimes caught in fences or prevent proper feeding). The procedure is most commonly performed early in an animal’s life, along with other actions such as docking and castration. Dehorning is considered by some animal rights activists to be unnecessary cruelty. Many breeds of cattle and sheep are naturally polled, and so do not need to be dehorned. Most other livestock species cannot easily be bred to lack horns naturally – for example: the polling gene in goats is closely tied to hermaphrodism.

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