The AVMA recently posted a great video titled "AVMA's Policy on Pain Control for Dehorning." The AVMA makes some very good suggestions for reducing the pain associated with dehorning, and the video shows some calves being disbudded using a hot-iron. The YouTube video can be viewed below. The video is also available on AVMA TV.
Caustic paste is another way producers can minimize dehorning pain. According to a University of British Columbia study published in the Journal of Dairy Science, caustic paste is less painful than hot-iron, even when both a sedative and local anesthetic are used.
What do you think of the AVMA recommendations?