The "Five Freedoms" of Animal Welfare
As a responsible pet owner, you must provide your pet with the "Five Freedoms".
- Freedom from hunger or thirst Every animal must always have access to clean fresh water. You must provide proper and sufficient food for good health and weight.
- Freedom from discomfort and inadequate shelter Shelter must be weather proof, free from drafts, wind, rain and full sun. Dogs must be able to stand up and comfortably be able to turn around in their kennel. In cold weather, pets need more care and attention. Whether you have a dog, cat, rabbit, in fact most types of animals, you must make sure it is warm and comfortable.
- Freedom from disease and injury Get prompt vet treatment if your animal is sick or injured. We recommend that your animal is kept up to date with their vaccinations, worming and flea treatments to help prevent them from getting sick. Also keeping their environment clean and free from any hazards can help to stop injuries and disease.
- Freedom from distress and pain Always handle animals in a way that won't injure or cause unreasonable pain or distress to the animal.
- Freedom to display normal behaviour You are obligated to meet your animal's behavioural needs and provide an environment so they can display normal behaviour. Some good ways of doing this are adequate exercise, toys, scratching poles etc, and an opportunity to play. Leaving a dog tied up for long periods is not acceptable.
These freedoms are requirements under the Animal Welfare Act 1999 and you may be prosecuted if you fail in your duty as a pet owner to provide them.