In the 1960s there was a push in the UK to improve livestock husbandry standards. The UK Farm Animal Welfare Council formalized a position statement called The Five Freedoms in 1979. Since that time this same standard for basic animal welfare has been embraced by professional groups around the world from veterinarians to national sheltering organizations to pet professionals in all industries.
The Five Freedoms
- Freedom from Hunger or Thirst – by having ready access to fresh water and a diet appropriate to maintain health.
- Freedom from Discomfort – by ensuring appropriate shelter from the elements and a comfortable resting area.
- Freedom from Pain, Injury or Disease – by providing preventive healthcare and rapid diagnosis and treatment of illnesses or injuries that may arise.
- Freedom to express normal behavior – by providing enough space, appropriate facilities and the company of the animal’s own kind.
- Freedom from fear and distress – by ensuring living conditions and treatment of the animal which avoid mental suffering.
At The Academy of Pet Careers we have not only embraced the Five Freedoms, but have also developed a Pet Empowerment Pledge that our students must commit to.
The Pet Empowerment Pledge
I pledge to…
- Practice Safe Handling of pets.
- Treat pets with respect and consider the human-pet bond.
- Give pets a choice, so long as they are safe.
- Promote confidence and independence in pets.
- Consider a pet’s mental, physical and emotional needs.
- Have patience and an unconditional love for all pets.
- Prevent and minimize fear, anxiety and stress in pets.
- Report animal abuse and neglect.
We invite the entire pet-loving community to join us in taking our Pet Empowerment Pledge.
Author - Jody Epstein
Jody Epstein is a certified behavior consultant, certified professional dog trainer, and holds a master’s degree in animal behavior from Tufts University. She has been training professionally for more than 11 years and is pleased to be part of the Academy of Pet Careers team, teaching the next generation of trainers. Look out for her blogs on all things dog training and animal behavior.