Your Pets Welfare Needs

The 5 Animal Welfare Rules

Every pet owner must provide for the following needs of their pets:

  • Health – Protection from pain, injury, suffering and disease and treated if they become ill or injured.
  • Behaviour – the ability to behave naturally for their species eg. Play, run, dig, jump, fly etc.
  • Companionship – to be housed with, or apart from, other animals as appropriate for the species. i.e. company of their own kind for sociable species like rabbits or guinea pigs, or to be housed alone for solitary species like hamsters.
  • Diet – a suitable diet. This can include feeding appropriately for the pet’s life stage and feeding a suitable amount to prevent obesity or malnourishment, as well as access to fresh clean water.
  • Environment – a suitable environment. This should include the right type of home with a comfortable place to rest and hide as well as space to exercise and explore.

The needs of each type of pet are very different and it is important owners know what these needs are, and how to meet them. Researching carefully before purchase can help owners understand what they will need to provide.

Animal Welfare Act 2006

The 5 Freedoms

  • FREEDOM FROM HUNGER AND THIRST
  • FREEDOM FROM PAIN, INJURY AND DISEASE
  • FREEDOM FROM DISCOMFORT (BEDDING, TEMPERATURE, FLOOR SURFACES)
  • FREEDOM TO EXPRESS NORMAL BEHAVIOUR
  • FREEDOM FROM FEAR AND DISTRESS

The Five Freedoms make sure that you think of all the things that can affect how animals feel. For example, it’s not good to be well fed but in pain, nor to feel safe but too cold. Four of the five freedoms are easy to understand, but what is meant exactly by the ‘freedom to express normal behaviour’?

Animal Welfare Act 2009