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Five freedoms for animals

Article ID: 318
Last updated: 12 Jun, 2009
Revision: 1
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RSPCA Australia considers that the welfare of an animal includes its physical and mental state and that good animal welfare implies both fitness and a sense of well-being.

The RSPCA believes that an animal’s welfare should be considered in terms of five freedoms which form a logical and comprehensive framework for analysis of welfare within any animal use together with the steps and compromises necessary to safeguard and improve welfare within the proper constraints of an effective livestock industry.
  1. Freedom from hunger and thirst: by ready access to fresh water and a diet to maintain full health and vigour.
  2. Freedom from discomfort: by providing an appropriate environment including shelter and a comfortable resting area.
  3. Freedom from pain, injury or disease: by prevention through rapid diagnosis and treatment.
  4. Freedom to express normal behaviour: by providing sufficient space, proper facilities and company of the animal’s own kind.
  5. Freedom from fear and distress: by ensuring conditions and treatment which avoid mental suffering.
RSPCA Australia considers that these freedoms will be better provided for if those who have care of livestock practise:
  • caring and responsible planning and management
  • skilled, knowledgeable and conscientious animal management
  • appropriate environmental design
  • considerate handling and transport
  • humane killing.
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