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The five freedoms

All animals are entitled to the Five Freedoms wherever they are kept.  'The Five Freedoms' is a set of five basic rules concerning the welfare of animals. They apply to the housing of both large and small animals. They are as follows:


  • Freedom from hunger and thirst

  • Freedom from discomfort

  • Freedom from pain, injury and disease

  • Freedom to express normal behaviour

  • Freedom from fear and distress


For all animals, an agreeable physical environment should be:

  • warm in Winter and cool in Summer

  • dry

  • clean

  • odour free

  • correctly lit (sufficiently light to see during the day, but sufficiently dark to sleep at night)

  • safe

  • have enough space for free movement, and in the case of rabbits, the rabbit must be able to make at least  three hops in any direction.


Well cared-for animals should have at least:

  • regular access to separate and cleaned 'toilet' areas

  • constant clean water supply

  • appropriate feeding

  • sufficient mental stimulation and companionship.  This should all be provided as efficiently as possible.

“You may choose to look the other way but you can never say again that you did not know.”

William Wilberforce

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