What is Animal Welfare?

Animal welfare means how an animal is coping with the conditions in which it lives. An animal is in a good state of welfare if (as indicated by evidence) it is healthy, comfortable, well-nourished, safe, able to express innate behavior, and if it is not suffering from unpleasant states such as pain, fear, and distress. Good animal welfare requires disease prevention and veterinary treatment, appropriate shelter, management, nutrition, humane handling, and humane slaughter (although some would not consider slaughter, humanely or otherwise, good animal welfare). Animal welfare refers to the state of the animal; the treatment that an animal receives is covered by other terms such as animal care, animal husbandry, and humane treatment. Protecting an animal’s welfare means providing for its physical and mental needs. Ensuring animal welfare is a human responsibility.

There are numerous perspectives on animal welfare that are influenced by a person’s values and experiences. There are also various means of measuring animal welfare, including (but not limited to) health, productivity, behavior, and physiological responses.

Education for Africa Animal Welfare – EAAW has defined its commitment to animal welfare through the adoption of the following Animal Welfare Principles that serve as guidance in everything we do, from developing policies to taking direct action to ensure the welfare of animals:

EAAW Animal Welfare Principles

We believe that:

  • People are responsible for animals and should treat them humanely, with care and always with their welfare in mind.
  • Animals must be provided with water, food, proper handling, health care, and an appropriate environment, with thoughtful consideration for their species-typical biology and behavior.
  • Animals should be cared for in ways that minimize fear, pain, stress, and suffering.
  • Conservation and management of animal populations should be undertaken in a humane and socially responsible manner.
  • Animals should be treated with respect and dignity throughout their lives and, when necessary, provided a humane death.

We will strive to improve animal health and welfare through education, collaboration, advocacy, and the development of legislation and regulations.