The Five Freedoms

The NSPCA believes that the welfare of an animal includes its physical and mental state and that good animal welfare implies both fitness and a sense of well-being. The Council believes that an animal’s welfare should be considered in terms of five freedoms, which form a logical and comprehensive framework for analysis of welfare within any animal use together with the steps and constraints of an effective livestock industry:-

Freedom from hunger and thirst – by ready access to fresh water and a diet to maintain full health and vigour.

Freedom from discomfort – by providing an appropriate environment including shelter and a comfortable resting area.

Freedom from pain, injury or disease – by prevention and by rapid diagnosis and treatment.

Freedom to express normal behaviour – 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.

“The greatness of a nation can be judged by the way its animals are treated.” – Mahatma Gandhi