What is animal welfare?


Quick Answer

Animal welfare is the well-being of an animal. It determines how well an animal is coping with the conditions of their lives and their health.

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Full Answer

A good state of welfare is achieved if the animal is healthy, comfortable, properly nourished, safe from harm and if it is not suffering from the effects of pain, fear, and distress.

Protecting an animal's welfare means providing for its physical and mental needs. Good animal welfare requires regular vet visits for disease prevention and healthy check ups, adequate shelter, a safe place, good nutrition, and humane handling.Animal welfare doesn't just apply to pets or companion animals, but to all animals that are used for humans, including for working purposes and consumption.

There are many perspectives on animal welfare that are influenced by an individual's values and past experiences. In order to set clear guidelines on ethical animal welfare policies, the AMVA has determined that there are 8 key aspects of animal welfare:

1. Responsible use of animals abiding by the Veterinarian's Oath

2. Making health decisions based on scientific information

3. Providing adequate nutrition and wellness care

4. Care should minimize fear and stress

5. The housing should be constantly assessed and updated as needed

6. Conservation and population control must be humane and responsible, based on scientific research

7. Treating animals with respect and dignity

8. Continuing research to improve the lives of animals

Ensuring animal welfare is a human responsibility. Policies are developed to take action to ensure the welfare of all animals by the AMVA and law enforcement.

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