The story behind the 5 freedoms of animal welfare


An important part of our corporate mission is related to animal welfare, which is why we would like to explain what is meant by this term in this article. 

Animal welfare is directly related to how an animal copes with appropriate living and dying conditions. The World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE), created by an international agreement in 1924, became the governmental entity in charge of “Achieving a world in which animal welfare is respected, promoted and advanced in a manner that complements the pursuit of animal health, human welfare, socio-economic development and environmental sustainability” (OIE 2021).  And to do so, in accordance with its countries members, 5 internationally known pillars were established as the 5 freedoms of animal welfare that describe the rights of animals that are under the responsibility of human beings and that must be respected, followed and consisting in the possibility of living:

  1. Free from hunger, thirst and malnutrition. – Guaranteeing access to pure water and an adequate diet according to their species.
  2. Free from fear and stress. – Ensuring that their treatment and conditions avoid any kind of mental suffering.
  3. Free from physical and thermal discomfort. – Providing a suitable environment that includes hygiene, shelter and a comfortable resting area.
  4. Free from pain, injury and disease. –Ensuring prevention or prompt diagnosis and treatment.
  5. Free to manifest natural behavior. – Ensuring that they are in adequate facilities, with sufficient space and in the company of others of their own species.

Based on these pillars and based on scientific knowledge, international standards (codes) were developed for both terrestrial and marine animals that guarantee the physical and mental state of the animals in relation to the conditions in which they live and die.

Many administrations are moving forward to improve animal welfare. An example of this is The Bar Association of Barcelona (ICAB) and the Official College of Veterinarians of Barcelona (COVB) who just last month signed a collaboration agreement in favor of protecting the rights, health and welfare of animals in addition to maintaining, promoting and offering the veterinary guild more accurate and expert vision on issues and doubts of the same industry. (Expansión 2021).

The animal welfare concept involves all kinds of dimensions: scientific, ethical, economic, cultural, social, religious and political. For this reason it is of general interest that everyone who has any kind of economic activity related to animals should know and incorporate it into their business objectives and strategy.

From Artennua® we contribute our efforts to help the well-being of pets and veterinary specialists since, as a company, we are always against the mistreatment of all species and we fight for a more sustainable world.