What is Animal Welfare?
The BC SPCA is an animal welfare organization, which means we believe the use of animals for human purposes is justified as long as their welfare is ensured. Animal Welfare means an animal's quality of life, and is affected by animals' physical health and the feelings they experience.
Animals experience good welfare when they are able to experience positive feelings (arising from pleasurable activities and the fulfillment of behavioural needs), and when they are free from poor physical health and negative feelings (such as pain, discomfort, hunger, thirst, fear and frustration).
Animals that are largely healthy, pain-free, comfortable and unstressed are generally said to have good welfare.
Good animal welfare is widely thought to be achieved if animals are provided with the internationally recognized Five Freedoms, described first by the Farm Animal Welfare Council of the UK. The BC SPCA has adopted its own version of the Five Freedoms as our Charter. They state that animals should enjoy:
1. Freedom from hunger and thirst
2. Freedom from discomfort
3. Freedom from pain, injury or disease
4. Freedom from distress
5. Freedom to express behaviours that promote well-being