Landholders, managers and station hands from across North West Queensland gathered near Mount Isa to learn the business of cattle spaying.
Ten students visited a property 15-kilometres east of Mount Isa and spent three days perfecting desexing techniques, conducted by Brian Hall.
Mr Hall is a contract spayer from Rockhampton and throughout his 40 years of experience has held many clinics across Queensland.
He explained spaying was a simple procedure compared to older methods.
“Students learnt the basics of removing fallopian tubes out of cows,” Mr Hall said.
“This is a simple procedure and once students become familiar with it, it is an easy operation with no stress to the cow.”
Students also learnt about webbing and pregnancy testing.
“As cows are with the bulls most of the year they could be in calf when they come into the yards. This is when we test for pregnancy,” Mr Hall said.
“If the cow is in calf, we web her which allows her to have the calf she is carrying but not fall pregnant again.”
He explained that with the hot, harsh conditions of Northern Australia, cows teeth began to wear out when they reached 10 years old.
“This is when cattle producers tend to spay and web their cattle. Most of the big properties up in Northern Queensland do it because it is the only sure way to cull cows,” Mr Hall said.
“When a cow gets webbed she goes back with the herd and the following year when she comes in fat she will be right to load on a truck.”
During the dry season, Mr Hall said there was high demand for his spaying and teaching clinics.
“There are many businesses throughout North West Queensland that spay cattle but I am still busy with my business. I also have people ringing me up consistently asking to learn to spay.
“Spaying was introduced to Australia in 1885 and had changed over the years. They use to put a small cut in front of the udder to remove the ovaries (udder spaying). It then moved to flank spaying and passage spaying.”
Mr Hall said all students passed the course and can conduct their own spaying.