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Innovating to Improve Lives

A fresh company dedicated to improving animal welfare through delivering Numnuts technology to the world

Who are we?

We are an internationally renowned team of research vets (Moredun Research Institute & CSIRO) who have combined forces with award-winning product development consultancy 4c Design.

The multi-disciplinary team are all passionate about farming. Our goal is to ensure food and wool security by improving farm animal welfare. As consumers and retailers become more interested in the husbandry of the animals, we recognised the need for an improved marking tool – one that administers pain relief and is easy for the farmer to use.

Our approach was to create a practical on-farm solution, developed and tested by farmers for farmers.

Our approach

Creating Numnuts wasn’t straight forward. The effectiveness of powerful local anaesthetics was the obvious starting point. The challenge for the design team was how to integrate local anaesthetics into modern farm husbandry practices in a safe, fast and reliable manner. 

This might sound easy, but developing the system took hundreds of prototypes carrying out animal behavioural trials on over 5000 lambs across a 5 year cycle of development, testing and refinement. 

All our work has been undertaken using best practice scientific and animal experimentation protocols, resulting in two international patents and a large compendium of animal behaviour data that has been scientifically validated.

The Numnuts Story

Early 90s
The Start
At the University of Edinburgh, Prof. Vince Molony and colleagues identified the methodology for measuring pain in lambs and started to investigate the effectiveness of the use of pain relief during tail docking and castration.
Early 90s
Mid 90s
Proven
It is scientifically demonstrated that pain caused by castration and tail docking can be significantly reduced by using local anaesthetics.
Mid 90s
Late 90s
Early Trials
A prototype multi-jet injection mechanism was developed and trialled successfully in UK.
Late 90s
The cost of the prototype system was too high. Concern for farm animal welfare was less abundant than with today’s ethical consumer. When project funds dried up, the research was shelved.
2009
New Start
Consumer and retailer interest in farm animal welfare increased.

4c Design and Moredun Research partner to look into the feasibility of a novel solution. Vets & design engineers collaborate and Numnuts is born. Consumer and Retailer interest in farm animal welfare increases.
2009
2012
Australia Joins In
Industry bodies Meat & Livestock Australia (MLA) and Australian Wool Innovation (AWI) recognise the need for an on-farm solution and provide funding for the research and development work.
2012
2013
CSIRO Gets Involved
R&D team is enhanced by the involvement of Dr Alison Small (RCVS) and Dr Ian Colditz (BVSc).

CSIRO Armidale Chiswick brings the Australian/NZ experience and perspective to the project.
2013
2014
Early R&D
Concept design developed & patent filed. The R&D process begins in ernest.
2014
2017
Impact
Positive results from scientific animal behaviour studies.

The team begin transitioning the project from an R&D project to a commercially available product.
2017
2018
Farm Trials
Commercial trials were carried out on 5 sheep farms in Australia, with over 15,000 lambs benefitting from Numnuts pain relief.

Engineers validate the design before mass production.
2018
2019
Production
The team made final changes and started moving Numnuts towards production for the Australian launch in summer 2019.
2019
2019
Numnuts Launched in Australia
Numnuts becmae commercially available in Australia in mid-2019.
2019
2020
Numnuts Wins Best New Product Release
Numnuts wins Best New Product Release Award at Wagin Woolarama.
2020
2020
Numnuts Wins Tesco Agri T-Jam
UK supermarket Tesco voted Numnuts the winner of its Agri T-Jam at the World Agri-Tech Summit 2020. As the winner, Numnuts is now working with Tesco (the UK’s leading retailer) and its supply chain partners.
2020

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