Every year for more than 30 years , the Canadian Veterinary Medical Association has organized Animal Life Week. This year, it will be held from October 1st to 7th .
This year’s theme highlights the five fundamental freedoms that animals need to survive and thrive.
This year’s theme is an opportunity to remind animal owners (not just pets) of the fundamentals they must provide to the animals entrusted to their care to ensure they lead a happy and healthy life.
Even though many think they know the factors that can make a pet happy, it is good to be reminded of them from time to time and Animal Life Week is a good opportunity to do so.
What is the origin of the five freedoms?
According to the OIE (World Organization for Animal Health), animal welfare “refers to the way in which an animal evolves in the conditions that surrounds it”.
The OIE guidelines on animal welfare also refer to the universally recognized “five fundamental freedoms” laid down in 1965 to describe the rights of animals under human responsibility.
In 2002, at the request of its Member States (including Canada), and recognizing that animal health is a fundamental component of their well-being, the OIE expanded its mandate to include standards on the well- being.
The first OIE intergovernmental standards on animal welfare were published in 2005.
The standards adopted focus on the welfare of terrestrial animals and farmed fish in specific configurations.
They are regularly updated as scientific knowledge evolves.
OIE standards are adopted by consensus at the World Assembly of National Delegates of the OIE, which means that all Member States undertake to apply them at national level, disregarding each state’s cultural and economic situation.
The Five Animal Freedoms
Pet owners can protect the Five Animal Freedoms by:
- Providing appropriate nutrition
–Prevent hunger and thirst by providing fresh water and food to ensure vigorous health.
- Providing appropriate socialization
–Give the opportunity to spend time with or without members of their species according to their needs.
- Providing appropriate accommodation
–Provide a suitable environment that includes a shelter and a comfortable rest area to avoid discomfort.
- Providing appropriate veterinary care
–Promote the absence of pain, injury or illness through prevention or prompt diagnosis and treatment.
- Allowing animals to behave normally
–Promote the ability to express normal behavior by providing adequate space, adequate facilities, tools and accessories, and by not punishing animals when they exhibit undesirable behavior.
You want your animals to be happy? You must then protect their five fundamental freedoms.
All provinces have organizations that promote and protect animal welfare. Most of these organizations are underfunded and require volunteers and donations. Do not hesitate to support them.
OIE Animal welfare
Canadian Veterinary Medical Association: Animal Health Week 2017
If you ever have any questions, do not hesitate to contact a member of the medical team of the Clinic (514-634-4190) who will be happy to assist you.
About the clinic: The Lachine Veterinary Clinic offers an unmatched and personalized service to pet owners from Lachine, LaSalle, Dorval and Pointe Claire, but also across the West Island of Montreal (West Island) and Laval, and has done so ,since 1982.