In making decisions, from policy to legislation support to animal care, the Potter League refers to the Five Freedoms for guidance. The Five Freedoms help to evaluate animal welfare and limit animal suffering. By looking towards each of the Five Freedoms, communities can assess the welfare of animals in human care, identify areas needing improvement, and enact changes to benefit animals.
The Five Freedoms are:
Freedom from Hunger and Thirst
All animals require access to a nutritious diet and fresh, clean water.
Freedom from Discomfort
An appropriate environment must be provided, which includes a clean living space, protection from the elements, and a comfortable place to rest.
Freedom from Pain, Injury or Disease
Precautions should be taken to prevent illness and injury. When problems do occur, veterinary diagnosis and treatment should be as prompt and effective as possible.
Freedom to Express Normal Behavior
Animals should be given facilities adequate for the performance of behaviors typical for the species, including access to enough space and social companions where appropriate.
Freedom from Fear and Distress
Conditions, treatment, and handling should be designed to avoid stress or mental suffering.
Livestock Welfare and Care Standards Advisory Council
The Potter League is proud to be a part of Rhode Island’s Livestock Welfare and Care Standards Advisory Council. The purpose of the council is to serve as an advisory body to the director of Department of Environmental Management and the general assembly in making recommendations related to the overall health and welfare of livestock species. Animal care standards are currently being developed by the council for a variety of livestock species.