SPCA New Zealand
Advice & welfare

The Five Domains

All Animals

SPCA advocates for the use of the ‘Five Domains’ model of animal welfare in science and legislation in preference to the ‘Five Freedoms’.

The Five Freedoms model of animal welfare was developed in the 1960s and has shaped the development of animal welfare standards globally.

However, how we think about animals has evolved from providing ‘freedom from’ negative experiences, to encouraging positive experiences and recognising the emotional needs of individual animals.

(See Animal Sentience for more information)

The Five Domains model has become the leading science-based model to analyse animal welfare. It describes welfare as the balance between positive and negative experiences and feelings as a result of the animal’s health, environment, nutrition and behavioural interactions. It recognises that for every physical aspect that is affected, there may be an associated emotion or experience that can affect the animals’ welfare.

Our organisation applies the Five Domains model in our animal welfare science, education, certification and advocacy work.

SPCA advocates that the Five Domains model should inform legislation and standards.

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