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It is scientifically proven that animals are sentient beings that can feel pain, suffering and distress in the similar way as humans do. That is why people have the obligation to respect animals and take care of their 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 scientific evidence) it is healthy, comfortable, well nourished, safe, able to express innate behaviour, and if it is not suffering from unpleasant states such as pain, fear, and distress. (Terrestrial Animal Health Code, OIE 2014) Five freedoms Animal welfare can be assessed by using internationally recognised concept of “Five freedoms”:

  1. Freedom from hunger, thirst and malnutrition – by providing sufficient quantities of high quality food and water;
  2. Freedom from fear and distress – by providing suitable conditions and handling animals in a way that does not lead to mental suffering.
  3. Freedom from physical and thermal discomfort – by providing suitable shelter and resting space;
  4. Freedom from pain, injury and disease – by providing prompt and adequate veterinary treatment and disease prevention;
  5. Freedom to express normal patterns of behaviour – by providing sufficient space, suitable facilities for keeping animals and a social contact with other animals of the same species.

Animal welfare can be measured Animal welfare is an objective, scientific category and an be measured using special knowledge and methodology. European Union has developed tools for assessing animal welfare, thanks to which consumers, producers and decision makers can have reliable information about the state of welfare animals raised for food are in.