Fifty years ago an innovative report was published which outlined a The Brambell report, as it’s now known, said animals should have: “the. The allegation is that the codes fall far short of the Brambell Report. We should bear in mind, however, that most of the main Brambell recommendations . As a direct result of the Brambell Report, the Farm Animal Welfare Advisory Committee (FAWAC) was set up. This was disbanded at the same.

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This opinion paper considers the relative validity and utility of rdport concepts: The aims of FF and FD are different but complementary. FD seeks to assess the impact of the physical and social environment on the mental affective state of a sentient animal, FF is an outcome-based approach to identify brambelp evaluate the efficacy of specific actions necessary to promote well-being.

The concept of QoL is presented mainly as a motivational framework. The FD approach provides an effective foundation for research and evidence-based conclusions as to the impact of the things we do on the mental state of the animals in our care.

Moreover, it is one that can evolve with time. The FF are much simpler. They do not attempt to achieve an overall picture of mental state and welfare status, but the principles upon which they are based are timeless. Their aim is to be no more than a memorable set of signposts to right action. Since, so far as the animals are concerned, it is eeport what we think but what we do that counts, I suggest that they are likely to have a more general impact.

The welfare of any sentient animal is determined by its individual perception of its own physical and emotional state brambelk 1 ].

This applies repprt to the huge population of food animals as to the pets on whom we may lavish individual attention. Increasing public concern brmabell action to improve animal welfare has generated the demand for animal welfare science that seeks to improve our understanding of the nature of animal emotions and motivation, and from this, improve the quality of our care. The animal welfare scientist has a responsibility not only to do research and publish papers to be read by other scientists, but also to communicate new knowledge and understanding in a manner that is most appropriate to the full spectrum of individuals in society; be they fellow scientists, those directly involved in the care of animals on farms, in laboratories, zoos and in the home, and finally those who may have little direct contact with animals but derive from them some utility or pleasure: Animal welfare science is a big topic, since it embraces everything that may affect the physical and emotional state of the animal, its ability to cope and its quality of life.

If we are to attempt a comprehensive analysis of the challenges to the welfare of a sentient animal and the consequences for its quality of life, we need some ground rules.

David Mellor has, in this journal, recently summarised the thinking behind his development of the Five Domains [ 2 ] as a refinement of the concept of the Five Freedoms FF [ 3 ] and a framework for overall assessment of quality of life. The Five Domains FD are made up of four input categories: Nutrition, environment and health, categorised as survival-related factors, and behaviour, a situation-related factor that might better be described as opportunity to express rewarding behaviour, since behaviour itself is an outcome.

The fifth domain is mental state, the outcome for the animal expressed in terms of negative and positive experiences and it is this domain that determines its welfare status.

The editors of this journal have invited me, as the original proponent of the FF in their current form, to contribute an opinion piece to complement this article: My immediate, short answer is that it depends on who you are talking with: I recognise however that I need to explain this further. These he identified as freedom of speech, freedom of worship, freedom from want, freedom from fear.

It should be obvious that these, like the later Five Freedoms, are aspirations. He was not making it an article of law that all the people should experience all of these perfect freedoms all of the time. They are, however, memorable. The phrase was commandeered by the Brambell Committee report on the welfare of farm animals in intensive systems [ 4 ] to summarise their conclusion that farm animals in confinement should be allowed sufficient space to permit the following five minimal behaviours or activities, namely to stand up, lie down, turn round, stretch their limbs and groom all parts of the body.

When in I joined the UK Farm Animal Advisory Committee the predecessor of the Farm Animal Welfare Council, FAWC I suggested that while these things were of vital importance to animals in the most intensive systems, they presented a very restricted view of farm animal welfare and left many, indeed most welfare problems off the page.


Invited to come up with something more comprehensive I first proposed a new set of 5 Freedoms.

Five freedoms

FAWC worked on this original set and in published an updated version that matched each of the five freedoms with five provisions—and this is how they stand today [ 3 ].

The alert will spot that these five freedoms are, in fact eleven. The key point is that they are all outcome measures. rreport

The provisions outline the husbandry necessary to promote these outcomes. Other publications have produced much longer lists; a process analogous to inflating the Ten Commandments into the Book of Leviticus, worthy but very dull.

Farm Animal Welfare Council – 5 Freedoms

My case for the five freedoms has always been bramebll, at a very simple and basic level, they are comprehensive. Moreover attempts to strengthen the case by adding detail can have the opposite effect since the more one brqmbell to expand the argument by adding examples, the relort likely one is to leave things out. This brambekl a very important point, especially in the context of legislation.

The two key pieces of animal welfare legislation in the UK have an elegant simplicity [ 6 ]. The strength of both these Acts, in my opinion, is that they stick to first, and timeless, principles. The five domains are presented as a concept that will capture all these things within its net. Mellor [ 2 rport has proposed several limitations of the five freedoms. I have some more of my own. His strongest criticism is that, unlike the five dominions, they do not embrace the concept of positive welfare.

I concede this point and shall return to it later. However, I believe that the great strength of the FF in practice is that they describe outcome indicators. In recent years, outcome measures have become the standard approach to the development of quality control protocols, whether for the evaluation of animal welfare on individual farms or within overall production systems, e.

In this sense, the FF concept was ahead of its time.

An animal welfare history lesson on the Five Freedoms

I suggest we are getting into Leviticus territory here. There are two ways in which, after 25 years reflection, I believe that the FF fall reort. The first is that they only describe a snapshot: They do not properly reflect the causes and consequences of stresses that lead to long-term problems, e.

The message here is that any outcome-based working protocol for the evaluation of animal welfare must include chronic indices of failure to cope with physical and emotional challenge. This is the only freedom toall others are freedoms fromand, I believe, beyond cavil. Freedom to begs the question of what is normal behaviour?

Does it include complete sexual freedom?

Does it include freedom of one individual to compromise the welfare of another? My freedom to swing my fist should stop at the point of your nose.

This incorporates freedom to express natural behaviour with regard to choice of diet, environment, social contact, comfort and security. Once again the concept of freedom of choice needs to be interpreted responsibly. Animals, like children in our care, should not, for example, be given free licence to eat themselves to death.

I believe the concept of freedom of choice addresses all the concerns set out brambelp the deport Brambell report [ 4 ] into the welfare of farm animals in intensive systems stand up, lie down, turn round, stretch their limbs and groom all parts of the body.

More generally it addresses my greatest criticism of the business of factory farming, namely that by assuming more or less total control of the physical and social environment, brambdll deny the animals the opportunity to make choices designed to promote their own quality of life.

Briefly restated, the Five Domains approach identifies four categories of input factor that act upon the mind and body of a rbambell animal then assesses their impact on a series of outcome indicators of mental state 15 negative and 13 positive affects.

These may or may not then be integrated into an overall measure of welfare status. The individual outcome indicators provide a comprehensive structure brambll which animal welfare scientists can build their knowledge and understanding of specific topics and identify topics for new research.

They can also be used as the foundation for outcome-based protocols for the evaluation of animal welfare on farms, in zoos, research establishments etc. Integration of the elements of the fifth domain into a single measure of welfare status may, in some circumstances, be necessary, e.

For presentation to the general public any Quality Assurance scheme needs to provide an overall score as to acceptability barmbell quality ranking, bdambell the difficulties inherent in offsetting a good score repprt one category against a poor score in another.


However, whatever the overall score unless everything is perfectI argue that, so far as the animals are concerned, the most important purpose of any welfare-monitoring scheme is to identify and address specific problems. In this regard FF can be used to identify a comprehensive, specific, step rrport step, series of outcome indicators calling for action.

The concept of Quality of Life QoLrecognises that animals have both positive and negative experiences and focuses on the balance between the two. Green and Mellor [ 13 ] formulated a four-tier QoL scaling system with two positive categories above and two negative categories below a neutral point of balance. I recognise the circumstances wherein an overall assessment of QoL can be of value, most obviously when a veterinarian is communicating with the owner of a pet faced by the prospect of euthanasia.

I also recognise its utility as a basis for repott farm overall animal reporr standards within quality assurance schemes [ 911 ]. I do suggest however that there are circumstances where the QoL concept is not particularly helpful and may indeed be counter-productive. My first concern is with the suggestion that it is possible to define QoL as the algebraic sum of positive and negative experiences. In the case of the dairy cow can one really quantify the extent to which e.

More generally, we must acknowledge that our interpretation of the feelings of others can only be subjective. Since I can never be entirely sure how you are feeling, I am reluctant to speak with authority on the mental reporg of a dairy cow.

In a strictly practical brambeol, one should, wherever possible, avoid the idea that a specific harm can eeport offset by another good. If there is a significant harm of any sort, efforts should be made to remedy it. An insensitive farmer may consider that the life of a severely lame dairy cow has worth, so long as she continues to give milk. The highly sensitive owner of an infirm geriatric dog may consider that its life is worth prolonging because it continues to give and receive love.

What these two extreme examples have in common is that in neither case does the animal contribute to the decision. The conclusion as to whether or not the life of a domestic farm or pet animal is worth living is something that we humans will make on behalf of the animal, brammbell on how we think it feels when experiencing a physical and social environment largely dictated by us.

My brief for this article was to discuss the relative validity and utility of FF and FD; the two approaches to the outline analysis of animal welfare. FD seeks to assess the impact specific and overall of the physical and social environment on the mental affective state of a sentient animal. FF with the five provisions is intended as an outcome-based approach to identify and evaluate the efficacy of specific actions necessary to bdambell well-being.

The Five Domains are clearly of use to animal behaviour and welfare scientists because they can embrace new teport and understanding, and provide pointers for new study.

An animal welfare history lesson on the Five Freedoms – MSU Extension

They can also be used for in-depth analysis of the impact of specific management practices human actions on animal welfare. For example, the FD approach has recently been used to evaluate the negative adverse welfare impacts of a range of procedures to which domestic horses may be subject, across a broad range of different contexts of equine care and training [ 14 ].

This has been a valuable exercise. In the case of procedures that may be deemed necessary, such as castration, it encourages us to think carefully as to what constitutes both best practice and minimally acceptable practice. In this and many other examples, the FD approach provides a highly effective foundation for research and evidence-based conclusions as to the impact of the things we do on the mental state of the animals in our care. The Five Freedoms are much simpler perhaps too simple for branbell but are based on fundamental, timeless principles that do not need to be re-evaluated in the light of new research.

They do not attempt to achieve an overall picture of mental state and welfare status. They are intended as no more than a memorable set of signposts to right action. Since, so far as the animals are concerned, it is not what we think or feel but what we do that counts, I suggest that brakbell are likely to have more impact on, and be of more use to, everybody else—and that includes the animals.