Castration of Baby Animals with No Painkillers is Legal and Common Practice in Farming Today

castratorSome people doubt that farmers castrate baby animals without painkillers. Indeed they do, whether they label the “end product” organic, free-range, grass-fed, or pasture-raised. Using castrators is perfectly legal and is considered desirable by breeders who believe the sales pitch from the manufacturers—namely, that castrated animals are less aggressive and more marketable. I decided to put the doubters’ skepticism to rest by shopping online for a “livestock castrator.” In 20 seconds, Google gave me a comparison of products based on cost, value, and quality. Here’s the one I zeroed in on:

The castrator’s name sounds a bit like an antique Ford: “EZE Castrator Kit Model T-1.” Its initial description makes the $186.95 instrument sound painless: “Within about 30 seconds, the scrotum is completely numb and the animal feels nothing.” In a later paragraph, though, there’s a bit of hedging: “Band castration . . . causes only minimal discomfort and stress to the animal.” Of course, both statements defy logic. Given that these animals share betweeen 60% and 80% of our DNA and are highly sentient, it’s just as ridiculous to claim that the castrator is practically pain-free to cows, sheep, and goats as it would be to say that a human would feel only “minimal discomfort” if his sexual organ were amputated without painkillers.

Here’s the description of the castrator I found:

“Applies a latex band around the scrotum and pulls it tight, cutting off the blood supply. An aluminum clip secures the ring. Once excess band has been cut, you’re ready to re-load for the next animal. Within about 30 seconds, the scrotum is completely numb and the animal feels nothing.

“The scrotum should fall off in 20-40 days. Can be used on cattle, sheep and goats; works best on calves 250 lbs. and up. Vaccinate with tetanus toxoid according to label directions. Kit includes 25 latex bands, 25 clips and instructional DVD. To avoid broken bands, please watch instructional DVD prior to initial use.

“Take advantage of nature’s own growth hormone by leaving bulls intact until 5-8 months of age. University trials show 10-15% improvement in gain both pre- and post-weaning in bull calves over early castrated calves. Natural testosterone also increases frame and carcass cutability. Band castration does not interrupt rate of gain and causes only minimal discomfort and stress to the animal. Tetanus toxoid (Covexin 8, Bar Vac CD-T, Vision C & D Tetanus Toxoid or Ovine Tetanus Shield) should be administered when bands are applied.”

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About Robert Grillo

Robert Grillo is the director of Free from Harm which he founded in 2009 to expose the food industry’s exploitation of animals and foster greater empathy for farmed animals. As an activist, author and speaker, Grillo focuses awareness on the animal’s experience and point of view, drawing on insights from sociology, psychology, popular culture, ethics and social justice to bridge the gap between humans and other animals. As a marketing communications professional for over 20 years, Grillo has worked on large food industry accounts where he acquired a behind-the-scenes perspective on food branding and marketing. His new book, Farm to Fable: The Fictions of Our Animal Consuming Culture, reveals how popular culture uses a variety of fictions that condition us to consume animal products and perpetuate fasle perceptions of animals that make us feel better about exploiting them


  1. Pingback: Quote on the importance of being vegan | There's an Elephant in the Room blog

  2. Unborn children and innocent creatures for some reason have no rights on this earth, well at least as far as man is concerned. I can’t for the life of me decide why we treat the very ones that need our protection with such disrespect?? Only thing I can come up with is the fact that we don’t have any morals much less a heart!

  3. Protecting profits is one thing, but the main thing that is being protected is class A sadism. These criminal morons actually get their kicks out of doing this and especially without anesthetic. Cutting testicles pumps up the cutters’ sex drives and this should have already been blatantly obvious, but people cannot confront evil. They only cause it.
    Can we believe 2 Youtubes that showed pigs testicles being cut into before being cut off?! This is outrageous and these cutters deserve the same treatment. All cutters are committing wholesale fraud and betrayal against God and life itself and, of course, hapless males. Being born intact was certainly a handicap wasn’t it?
    Another prime example of the sadism is the nasty, sick testicle festivals which certainly encourage this sick practise as well as worship it. Anybody who has ever put a knife to a scrotum deserves the same a million times over and then be abyssed to the lake of fire. The sane people could finally have something to laugh about! What a shameful activity.
    The only anestheic is effeminate endorphins, effeminate testosterone, alcohol, drugs, and stupidity, but not for the victims!!!!! Incidentally I grew up with this nasty double standard of brutalizing the males so I know what I’m writing with or without videos.
    Can we believe the amount of evil thought invested in the number of ways to do this brutality? The only brutality that is a joke. The only instance where people laugh when something else screams? Protecting profits is not the main thing is it? This craven trash belong on a barren planet where they can cut eachother for fun and giggles. They don’t deserve to be around living things.

    • OMG! I just watched that sickening, revolting Spanish Pig video and those criminals were also laughing and mocking the pigs’ pain. I never knew it was even possible to worship something or somebody else’s pain and suffering like that. I’d only observed it with cutting testicles off. People really need to just die off. Society is finished. Not all of us will go to a good place, but these sadist for sure would have to go to the eternal bad place.

  4. Yes, “standard practice” in the animal agriculture business is synonomous with abuse and torture. North Dakota recently refused to pass a law with real punishment for severe animal abuse, mostly backed by ranchers who feared that some manner of humane treatment might be required for farmed animals. I wonder about what kind of substandard human beings are capable of treating living, sentient creatures so brutally. Seems as if we have too many of them in the gene pool.

    • Here’s another thing that everybody has missed. The c-knife word itself is extremely abusive just hearing it. It connotes Mankind’s most sick activity that never should have been dreamed up much less put into action.
      If this action had never been used, the jokes associated with it would still be sick. I think it should be taken out of all dictionaries and the language itself.

  5. Additionally, there are no approved painkillers for livestock being castrated and dehorned. Studies are under way, but vets will sometimes use NSAIDS and the like. To keep the individual more still while being castrated, an electrical current is run through their body so they are rigid, and unable to move even if they could escape their torment. See for an example. I’ve witnessed this from five feet away and can tell you that calves gave all the signals that they were in pain, fear, and and distress.

    • Oh great, so they get shock treatment also. Gd all the bullies and the sooner the better. If there were bones involved, would this still be a necessary practise? Or, would they just go ahead and cut the bone also? Non-vets cannot get anesthetics; therefore, 99%+ animals are done without. However, anesthetics are wrong because the practise itself is wrong! Being born intact certainly wasn’t a gift was it? If we had external kidneys, what fun then?

  6. I watched a baby pig being castrated and I can tell you, they didn’t do anything to make it less painless. This baby was screaming. This non-human didn’t care that these babies were being hurt to the point that you could hear the suffering without even hearing a sound. It was a video.

    These people don’t care about the treatment of any of these creatures. They view them as nothing but profits, and be damn if they cause them harm. But one day, they will pay for what they have done to millions of God’s creatures. And the only thing that makes it even slightly better is the fact that God will punish them for the suffering!

    I don’t understand why man has turned his head away to what is happening. It must be that we are finally showing just who we truly are, hateful, selfish, inhumane and just down right evil. It makes me sick to be part of this species. The very species that was supposed to be the more inteligent, not the most evil.

    • Minimal discomfort?! All methods used and with or without anesthetic are sick, brutal, cruel, and criminal and always have been.
      I believe in killing something before I butcher it. I must be strange!
      Live butchery is another way to describe this activity.

    • Whenever sadism is involved with an activity this means the action is unnecessary (gratuitous) and it’s not “just a job” as part of the argument for it is concerned. Talk about the ultimate in pedophilia and animal rape this has to be it.

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