Distraction tool makes cattle work easy

Distraction tool makes cattle work easy

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It's only new to the Western Australian market but the Easy Boss E is already helping livestock handlers during routine checks and minor procedures of cattle on farm.

IT'S only new to the Western Australian market but the Easy Boss E is already helping livestock handlers during routine checks and minor procedures of cattle on farm.

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Developed by Canadian born veterinarian Don Finlay, who lives in Bunbury, the Easy Boss E is making difficult jobs easy and improving animal welfare at the same time.

Dr Finlay said the oral distraction tool would reduce fear and stress in animals when being treated, groomed or tagged and it increased safety for the animal and the stockperson.

Dr Finlay said the tool was made of stainless steel tubing and was designed to stimulate the animal's chewing behaviour while calming the animal considerably so they were much more docile in the head gate.

Oral medicine (liquid) can also be delivered to cattle using it via its inner tube.Negus Enterprise dairy supervisor Justin McNabb, Capel/Tutunup area, said he heard about the Easy Boss E, a few weeks ago and wanted to know more.

A former employee recommended he "check it out" and after one demonstration he was sold on the product.

The Easy Boss E was used to administer Glycol to a dairy cow via a Neogen syringe - footage of which was posted on the Easy Boss E Facebook page."

Dr Finlay came out and did a demo on the Farm Boss and I liked it," Mr McNabb said.

"I got one that day.

"We set it up and started using it to drench dairy cows with Glycol for ketosis."

Mr McNabb said he hadn't seen anything on the market like it before and it made the job much easier than previous techniques.

"We use to use a wine bottle which made it hard to administer," he said.

"We have quite a few staff coming and going, including backpackers, and this will make it easier to teach them how to do the job.

"Negus Enterprise has about 1000 milkers on farm.

"We are at the tail end of calving now but in the next calving in January we'll do about 500 calves," Mr McNabb said.

Dr Finlay, who has been practising in Australia for about 12 years, said the Easy Boss E company's journey "begins and ends with cattle".

"The development of our company traces to simple and natural cattle behaviour - chewing," he said.

"There are very few countries where cattle are never individually handled.

"The one on one interaction of man and bovine is our company's focus.

"Make it safer, easier, quicker, stress free and compassionate.

"The delivery of medications orally using the Easy Boss E device is also an important part of the journey.

"The company is based in Canada, Australia and the United Kingdom with production occurring in all three countries.Dr Finlay said distraction cattle handling was not a new concept but he had used the Easy Boss E in WA on Bos Taurus breeds since 2008.

He wanted to share with the world what the instrument would do for veterinarians, technicians, handlers and cattle producers.

He said the company had been marketing the tool around the world at various industry events and was continuing to attract attention.

Recently he received an order for the tool from Germany, as well as "a request from Ghanzi, Botswana".

"They asked 'could we get an Easy Boss E over there to try on the Zebu cattle?'," Dr Finlay said.

"Not wanting to miss an opportunity, we posted one off."In the United States and Canada the Easy Boss E can be purchased through Partnar Animal Health, while in the UK through Purex LTD.

Dr Finlay said he didn't have any "market penetration here" because he was "too busy doing cattle vet work".

Dr Finlay has found that he is able to sell direct to customers in WA - which he has done when other veterinarians such as Enoch Bergmann, Swan Veterinary Services, Esperance, recommended the product to producers.

"No distributor has taken it on so my best contact is via email, with orders placed online through easybosse.com," he said.

The price was $85 plus $20 for shipping and handling.

"It never wears out and you can run over it with the tractor," he said.

"It is a one time purchase so at this price you can have one at more than one property.

"He said distraction cattle handling was researched by the University of Saskatchewan, Canada, about 13 years ago and was published in the Canadian Veterinary Journal under the title.

"The effects of an oral distraction on cattle during a painful procedure".

He said the University of Wisconsin, US, will do further research in 2020.He said institutions using the distraction cattle handling technique included the University of Minnesota, US, as well as the University of Calgary and the University of Alberta, Canada.

He said Olds Agricultural College, Olds, Alberta, Canada, "uses the Easy Boss E in its stock handling courses they teach and processing procedures at their 400 head feedlot."

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