The concept of welfare refers to the quality of life from the perspective of the individual animal.
Animal welfare refers not only to health and physical conditions, but also to psychological wellbeing and the ability of animals to express natural behaviour.
Animal welfare can be considered to be ensured if the animals are healthy, feeling well and not suffering. These conditions are called the ‘five freedoms’ and are contained in the Animal Welfare Code, which was developed by the English specialists of the Farm Animals Welfare Council.
The measure of proper animal care is the preservation of the five freedoms:
- freedom from hunger, thirst and malnutrition by providing access to fresh water and food to keep animals healthy and strong;
- freedom from psychological trauma and pain by providing adequate shelter and a place of rest;
- freedom from pain, injury and disease through prevention, rapid diagnosis and treatment;
- freedom to express natural behaviour through the provision of adequate space, conditions and companionship with other animals of the same species
- freedom from fear and stress by providing care and treatment that does not cause psychological suffering to the animals.
More in Area 17: Animal production.