The 5 Freedoms were developed by the United Kingdom Farm Animal Welfare Council as a way to keep livestock in a humane manner. The 5 Freedoms have since been adopted by many organizations and professionals that care for animals, including animal shelters/humane societies.
The 5 Freedoms are as follows:
- Freedom from hunger or thirst by ready access to fresh water and a diet to maintain full health and vigor
- Freedom from discomfort by providing an appropriate environment including shelter and a comfortable resting area
- Freedom from pain, injury or disease by prevention or rapid diagnosis and treatment
- Freedom to express (most) normal behavior by providing sufficient space, proper facilities and company of the animal's own kind
- Freedom from fear and distress by ensuring conditions and treatment which avoid mental suffering
What I also love about the 5 Freedoms is that in order to meet the criteria of all five a person needs to know what the needs of a specific species are, and requires that a pet owner do some research so that they can provide them.
As I go through the school year working with the kids in our clubs, after-school programs and other programs I'll be looking at ways to introduce the students I work with to the 5 Freedoms. Hopefully it will make them think about how they can make life better for their own pets.