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WSPA - First Concepts: for teachers

WSPA - First Concepts: for teachers

What is the World

What is the World Society for theProtection of Animals (WSPA)?WSPA’s vision is of a world where animal welfarematters, and animal cruelty ends.With consultative status at the UN and the Council of Europe, WSPA is the world’s largestalliance of animal welfare societies. We are proud to coordinate this growing network, with approximately1000 member organisations in over 150 countries. WSPA brings together people and organisationsthroughout the world to challenge global animal welfare issues.WSPA has been promoting animal welfare for more than 25 years. Our work is concentrated in regionsof the world where few, if any, measures exist to protect animals.WSPA’s work is focused on four priority animal welfare areas:• companion animals – responsible pet ownership, humane stray management and cruelty prevention.• commercial exploitation of wildlife – intensive farming and the cruel management and killing of wildanimals for food or by-products.• farm animals – intensive farming, long distance transport and inhumane slaughter of animals for food.• disaster management – providing care to animals suffering as a result of man-made or naturaldisasters, and thereby protecting people’s livelihoods.WSPA has hundreds of thousands of supporters and 15 offices worldwide.Realising our aimsTo tackle animal welfare issues in our priority areas we utilise three main tools: campaigning, educationand member societies.Politically, we have campaigned to convince governments and key decision makers to change practicesand introduce new laws to protect or improve the welfare of animals. With generous donations from oursupporters, WSPA has helped people set up new animal welfare groups, enabling local communitiesaround the world to help bring about improvements in animal welfare. We also support existing localNGOs, which enable us to reach even more animals, through individuals and societies that are culturallyattuned and best placed to tackle the local issues as they arise.Understanding that the lack of awareness and knowledge regarding animal welfare is a major factor in thecontinuation of animal cruelty, WSPA’s education programmes facilitate a positive change in people’sattitudes towards animals.World Society for the Protection of Animals

What is animal welfare?In 2008 the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) adopted the following definition for animal welfare:“Animal welfare means how an animal is coping with the conditions in which it lives. An animal is in agood 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 anddistress. Good animal welfare requires disease prevention and veterinary treatment, appropriate shelter,management, nutrition, humane handling and humane slaughter/killing. Animal welfare refers to the stateof the animal; the treatment that an animal receives is covered by other terms such as animal care, animalhusbandry and humane treatment.” 1This definition indicates that animal welfare can be measured on a scale, ranging from good to poor, andthat there are important factors that influence it. These factors can be summarised in various ways and acommon method of measuring an animal’s welfare utilises the five freedoms, defined by the Farm AnimalWelfare Council and highlighted below.The five freedoms 21. Freedom from hunger and thirst2. Freedom from discomfort3. Freedom from pain, injury or disease4. Freedom to express normal behaviour5. Freedom from fear and distress1 Extract taken from the International Coalition of Farm Animal Welfare (ICFAW) publication (May 2010), Animal Welfare Worldwide:the role of veterinary services in improving animal care.2 Farm Animal Welfare Council. URL www.fawc.org.uk. Last retrieved 23/04/2010World Society for the Protection of Animals

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