The welfare of an animal includes its physical and mental wellbeing. Any animal kept by a human being must at least be protected from unnecessary suffering.
We believe that an animal’s welfare, whether on farm, in transit, at market or at a place of slaughter should be considered in terms of ‘five freedoms‘.

1. Freedom from Hunger and Thirst – by ready access to fresh water and a diet to maintain full health and vigor.
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 or 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.

The Origins of the Five Freedoms

The earliest reference we can find to the Five Freedoms is the press notice released by the Farm Animal Welfare Council (FAWC) in December 1979, shortly after the Council was established by the British Government in July of 1979. All information about the Five Freedoms that is posted on this site has been taken from the Farm Animal Welfare Council’s website. For more information please see: