SPCA supports a ‘One Welfare’ approach which recognises the interconnectedness of animal welfare, human wellbeing, and the environment.
‘One Welfare’ is the concept that animal welfare depends on and influences human wellbeing, biodiversity and the environment. A One Welfare approach to addressing animal welfare issues requires cross-disciplinary collaboration between stakeholders from relevant disciplines to work together towards a common goal for improving animal welfare, human wellbeing, biodiversity and environmental sustainability.
In animal sheltering it is impossible to tease apart the interrelatedness of human and animal welfare. Acknowledging this connection is essential to maximise welfare outcomes for both humans and animals. This approach requires a move away from the traditional ‘rescue and rehome’, to a community support model focused on keeping people and animals together. Helping animals to stay in communities (when it is in the animal’s best interest to remain in their home) allows shelters to focus on animals most in need, frees up resources for use in preventative services (such as desexing and microchipping community drives), and fosters the human/animal bond that provides quality of life benefits to people and animals alike.