The five freedoms are a set of internationally recognised and commonly adopted animal welfare standards. They outline what we as animal owners or carers must provide for the animals in our care. These are not just things we must aim to do, but things we have to do in order to be responsible animal owners.
The five freedoms are:
- Freedom from hunger or thirst All animals need access to readily available fresh water and a well-balanced and nutritious diet.
- Freedom from discomfort All animals need to live in an appropriate environment, with adequate shelter.
- Freedom from pain, injury or disease All animals should have access to immediate veterinary attention when it is required, to avoid any unnecessary suffering.
- Freedom to express normal behaviour A normal behaviour is the way an animal acts in his natural environment, and all animals must be able to express these behaviours. Enough space, contact with animals of the same species, proper shelter, the opportunity to play and adequate exercise all allow the animal to express his normal behaviours.
- Freedom from fear and distress All animals deserve to be happy and relaxed. It is essential that owners create conditions in which any unnecessary anxiety or stress is avoided, so as to prevent mental suffering.
We must provide the animals under our care with the five freedoms all of the time, so that they can live happy and healthy lives.
The five freedoms