New pain relief arrives

Injectable pain relief for sheep launched

Metacam 20 administered subcutaneously 15 minutes before procedures can lead to pain relief for up to 72 hours in sheep.

Metacam 20 administered subcutaneously 15 minutes before procedures can lead to pain relief for up to 72 hours in sheep.


The first injectable pain relief product for sheep has been launched.


AUSTRALIAN farmers’ number one priority is the welfare of their animals and now they have a new weapon to add to their arsenal. 

German family-owned pharmaceutical company, Boehringer Ingelheim, has launched a new pain relief product, Metacam 20, for use in sheep prior to mulesing.

Metacam 20 is the first and only injectable pain relief product registered for sheep in Australia.

The product received approval for use in the sheep industry in May 2016 and has since been used as a pre-procedural pain relief for mulesing. To achieve this the company worked with CSIRO to conduct safety and efficacy studies. 

Boehringer Ingelheim Australia head of veterinary medical services, Dr Phillip McDonagh, North Ryde, said the registration of Metacam 20 for use in sheep was welcomed by local veterinarians and sheep producers. 

“They have been calling out for access to a safe and effective treatment for pain and inflammation in sheep for some time,” Dr McDonagh said. 

The biggest advantage of Metacam 20 is the alleviation of pain and inflammation associated with common animal husbandry procedures.

Administering the anti-inflammatory product subcutaneously 15 minutes before the procedure will result in pain relief extending up to 72 hours. 

“Preliminary findings of current trial work underway by Boehringer Ingelheim indicates that the duration of action is around 48-72 hours,” he said.

The product is suitable for all common animal husbandry and on-farm procedures that require pain relief or for treatment of conditions resulting in pain or inflammation. This helps producers ensure animal health and welfare.

Boehringer Ingelheim has recently merged with French company, Merial, to make it the world’s second largest animal health company. 

Boehringer Ingelheim head of animal health, Andrew Palmer, North Ryde, said bringing together the two companies at the start of 2017 was an important long-term strategic move for the company. 

“Our complementary portfolios make our two businesses a perfect fit. I believe that we are stronger together and are now much better placed to serve our partners by offering a broader range of animal health solutions,” he said. 

“We are committed to working with our partners to use that scale and our combined resources to lead the industry in improving animal health.

Last year the company’s investment into R&D totalled more than three billion euros. 

“Each year the company invests over 20pc of our net sales back into research and development. This investment in innovation ensures we remain independent and sustainable into the future.”


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