Animal welfare refers to the quality of life of wild animals, of livestock production, living in zoological parks, experimental animals and companion animals, a concept that is acquiring a growing ethical and economic importance in our society .
The concept of animal welfare refers to a good or satisfactory quality of life that involves certain aspects related to the animal, such as health, happiness and longevity. One of the most popular concepts of animal welfare was given by Englishman Barry Hughes, who defines it as “a state of complete physical and mental health, in which the animal is in harmony with the environment that surrounds it”.
However, there are several perspectives on what is most important to obtain this quality of life. All of these perspectives lead us to realize that there are many aspects to be aware of and that none of them can be considered right or wrong, but that only corresponds to differences in values and opinions.
Thus, the concept of animal welfare must represent a consensus between scientists and the general public. Based on this consensus, the five freedoms of animals emerged (5 Freedoms), whose list was created by the English professor John Webster and released by the Farm Animal Welfare Council (FAWC), from the United Kingdom.
These “five freedoms” focus on the primary welfare of any living being, and are as follows: the animal must be free from hunger and thirst, free from discomfort, free from pain, injury or illness, free to express its normal behaviors and free from fear and distress.