The Five Freedoms of Animal Welfare

Dog and cat laying on the floor with dog laying head on cat's body

The welfare of an animal includes their physical and mental state. The OHS considers that good animal welfare implies both fitness and a sense of well-being for the animal. Any animal kept by people must at least be protected from unnecessary suffering and all animals must be given five essential freedoms:

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 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 that avoid mental suffering.