Animal Care & Welfare

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What do we mean by “animal care & welfare?”

Most people believe that animals should be provided with their basic needs and should be protected from unnecessary pain, stress, and discomfort. Animal welfare refers to the well-being of animals, which includes consideration of physical and mental states.

Animal welfare can be understood by considering a number of different ideas:

  • Provision of basic needs to ensure health, including adequate food and water, shelter, care for injury and/or illness, space and ventilation.
  • Recognition  that an animal’s emotional state is important and refers to how the animal feels, including fear, anxiety, pain or discomfort, as well as its ability to act “naturally” or fulfill its natural behaviours.
  • A framework called the Five Freedoms from the United Kingdom is internationally recognized as a set of guidelines that is used for farm and companion animals to address an animal’s needs.

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Discussion Activity

With a classmate, parent, or co-worker, brainstorm and discuss what elements should be considered as part of an animal’s basic care.

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