Sheep (England): Code of Recommendations for the Welfare of Livestock (PB5162)

Management: Dehorning or Disbudding


  1. Dehorning or disbudding of a sheep by lay persons is against the law, except for the trimming of ingrowing horn in certain circumstances (see text below). Homed sheep, especially rams, should be regularly inspected to ensure that neither the tip nor any other part of the horn is in contact with the face.
Under the Veterinary Surgeons Act 1966, as amended, only a veterinary surgeon may dehorn or disbud a sheep, apart from trimming the insensitive tip of an ingrowing horn which, if left untreated, could cause pain or distress.
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