29th June, 2018| Animal Welfare

As part of our focus on the Winterbotham Darby European Farm Partnership, we caught up with Charles ‘Chick’ Olsson, co-founder of Medical Ethics, to find out more about what they do and why they want to be a part of the EFP.

We’re an Australian Research and Development company, which was set up in 2005. Primarily we started life to deliver pain management and wound care technology to animals but are now looking to see how we can expand that to humans too.

Our vision is to develop and deliver highly effective, safe, affordable and practical pain relief products to prevent pain and minimise suffering associated with wounds in humans, livestock and companion animals.

We have a product called Tri-Solfen, which is a combination of wound care and pain relief which was developed by our Technical Director, Meredith Sheil. Meredith worked as a paediatric cardiologist, but was also a sheep farmer too. She had observed lambs, following tail-docking, in pain and wanted to see if human medicine could be adapted to animal medication. The commonality here is that neither animals nor children can express if and how much pain they are experiencing.

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So she developed Tri-Solfen, a product which can be applied topically to the site of a wound (such a docked tail) which contains:

  • Two topical local anaesthetic agents (Lignocaine and Bupivacaine) to numb the wound
  • A vasoconstrictor (Adrenalin) to minimise bleeding
  • Antiseptic agent (Cetrimide) to prevent infection of the wound.

These are administrated via a spray and stay gel which sticks to the surface of the wound.

Since our inception Tri-Solfen has been used on over 80 million farm animals in the sheep and cattle sector in Australia and New Zealand.

We became involved in the UK owing to interest shown in us by our partner, Dechra, and other UK companies such as Winterbotham Darby. Recently, 33% of our company was purchased by Dechra, which allows us to expand internationally into every livestock sector.

Our projects are looking at registering Tri-Solfen in UK and EU for all animal species, as well as receiving significant interest from the human health market in Wales. Trisolfen has great potential to be used not only in the majority of necessary farm surgeries, but will also be developed further for human wounds in many areas such as hospital triage and defence forces.

We’re interested in working with Winterbotham Darby because they have shown a real interest in supporting best animal welfare practices with a group of production partners and farms. Specifically with their focus on pigs we could look to reduce pain following piglet castration. Better welfare, such as pain-free surgery for farmed animals resonates with consumers as well as being more profitable for farmers. So it’s a win/win for our animals, farmers and consumers.

We’re excited to share this exciting new research and how it can be developed into welfare programs that we’re creating with Winterbotham Darby. We’re soon to start some trials in Europe, using Tri-Solfen, with a view to obtaining EU approval.

Just like Winterbotham Darby, we’re committed to taking better care of farmed animals, right through the whole supply chain.