Children being taught about animal welfare in class

The Five Welfare Needs

It was in the 1960s that the Five Welfare Needs (originally the ‘Five Freedoms’) were first suggested as a way of ensuring that animals had their basic needs fulfilled by those who cared for them.

In the 1970s an organisation called ‘The Farm Animal Welfare Council’ agreed on these welfare needs. Although they were originally created to help improve the welfare of farm animals, many charities and organisations agree that they can apply to all animals. SPANA believes that teaching children these needs could have a huge longterm impact on animal welfare, especially if those children could ultimately end up as working animal owners. They are as follows;

  1. Animals need access to fresh water and a suitable diet that will keep them healthy.
  2. Animals need adequate shelter and somewhere comfortable to rest.
  3. Animals need access to veterinary treatment but also steps should be taken to prevent pain, injury or disease.
  4. Animals need company of other animals of their own kind, enough space and proper facilities so they can behave in a natural way.
  5. Animals need to be kept in conditions that mean they will not suffer and need to be treated in a way that does not frighten them or distress them.