Animal welfare
Animal welfare is the physical
Physiology is the science of the function of living systems. This includes how organisms, organ systems, organs, cells, and bio-molecules carry out the chemical or physical functions that exist in a living system. The highest honor awarded in physiology is the Nobel Prize in Physiology or...

 and psychological
Comparative psychology
Comparative psychology generally refers to the scientific study of the behavior and mental processes of non-human animals. However, scientists from different disciplines do not always agree on this definition...

 well-being of animals.
The term animal welfare can also mean human concern for animal welfare or a position in a debate on animal ethics
Animal ethics
Animal ethics can refer to:*Abolitionism *Animal law*Animal rights*Animal welfare*Intrinsic value *Wildlife managementSee also*Animal rights movement*Animal testing*Animal testing regulations*Cruelty to animals...

 and animal rights
Animal rights
Animal rights, also known as animal liberation, is the idea that the most basic interests of non-human animals should be afforded the same consideration as the similar interests of human beings...

. Welfare is measured by indicators including behavior, physiology, longevity, and reproduction.

Systematic concern for animal welfare can be based on awareness that non-human animals are sentient and that consideration should be given to their well-being, especially when they are used by humans. These concerns can include how animals are killed for food, how they are used for scientific research, how they are kept as pets, and how human activities affect the survival of endangered species.

An ancient object of concern in some civilizations, animal welfare began to take a larger place in Western
Western culture
Western culture, sometimes equated with Western civilization or European civilization, refers to cultures of European origin and is used very broadly to refer to a heritage of social norms, ethical values, traditional customs, religious beliefs, political systems, and specific artifacts and...

 public policy in 19th-century Britain. Today it is a significant focus of interest or activity in veterinary science, in ethics, and in animal welfare organizations.

There are two forms of criticism of the concept of animal welfare, coming from diametrically opposite positions. One view, dating back centuries, asserts that animals are not consciously aware and hence are unable to experience poor welfare. The other view is based on the animal rights
Animal rights
Animal rights, also known as animal liberation, is the idea that the most basic interests of non-human animals should be afforded the same consideration as the similar interests of human beings...

 position that animals should not be regarded as property and any use of animals by humans is unacceptable. Some authorities thus treat animal welfare and animal rights as two opposing positions. Accordingly, some animal right proponents argue that the perception of better animal welfare facilitates continued and increased exploitation of animals. Others see the increasing concern for animal welfare as incremental steps towards animal rights.


In animal ethics
Ethics, also known as moral philosophy, is a branch of philosophy that addresses questions about morality—that is, concepts such as good and evil, right and wrong, virtue and vice, justice and crime, etc.Major branches of ethics include:...

, the term animal welfare often means animal welfarism.

In Saunders Comprehensive Veterinary Dictionary, animal welfare is defined as "the avoidance of abuse and exploitation of animals by humans by maintaining appropriate standards of accommodation, feeding and general care, the prevention and treatment of disease and the assurance of freedom from harassment, and unnecessary discomfort and pain."

Donald Broom
Donald Broom
Donald Maurice Broom, is an English biologist and emeritus professor of animal welfare at Cambridge University.Donald Broom attended Whitgift School and subsequently St. Catharine's College, Cambridge. He received his BA and MA degrees in zoology and Ph.D. degree in animal behaviour from Cambridge...

 defines the welfare of an animal as "its state as regards its attempts to cope with its environment. This state includes how much it is having to do to cope, the extent to which it is succeeding in or failing to cope, and its associated feelings." He states that "Welfare will vary over a continuum from very good to very poor and studies of welfare will be most effective if a wide range of measures is used."

Yew-Kwang Ng
Yew-Kwang Ng
Yew-Kwang Ng is an economist at Monash University. He graduated with a Bachelor of Commerce from Nanyang University in 1966 and later a Ph.D. from Sydney University in 1971....

 defines animal welfare in terms of welfare economics
Welfare economics
Welfare economics is a branch of economics that uses microeconomic techniques to evaluate economic well-being, especially relative to competitive general equilibrium within an economy as to economic efficiency and the resulting income distribution associated with it...

: "Welfare biology is the study of living things and their environment with respect to their welfare (defined as net happiness, or enjoyment
Pleasure describes the broad class of mental states that humans and other animals experience as positive, enjoyable, or worth seeking. It includes more specific mental states such as happiness, entertainment, enjoyment, ecstasy, and euphoria...

 minus suffering
Suffering, or pain in a broad sense, is an individual's basic affective experience of unpleasantness and aversion associated with harm or threat of harm. Suffering may be qualified as physical or mental. It may come in all degrees of intensity, from mild to intolerable. Factors of duration and...

). Despite difficulties of ascertaining and measuring welfare and relevancy to normative issues, welfare biology is a positive science."

Animal welfarism

Animal welfarism, also known simply as welfarism or animal welfare, is the position that it is morally acceptable for humans to use non-human animals, provided that adverse effects on animal welfare are minimized as far as possible, short of not using the animals at all. An example of welfarist thought is Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall
Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall
Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall is a British celebrity chef, television personality, journalist, food writer and "real food" campaigner, known for his back-to-basics philosophy...

's meat manifesto. Point three of eight is:
Think about the animals that the meat you eat comes from. Are you at all concerned about how they have been treated? Have they lived well? Have they been fed on safe, appropriate foods? Have they been cared for by someone who respects them and enjoys contact with them? Would you like to be sure of that? Perhaps it’s time to find out a bit more about where the meat you eat comes from. Or to buy from a source that reassures you about these points.

Robert Garner describes the welfarist position as the most widely-held in modern society. He states that one of the best attempts to clarify this position is given by Robert Nozick
Robert Nozick
Robert Nozick was an American political philosopher, most prominent in the 1970s and 1980s. He was a professor at Harvard University. He is best known for his book Anarchy, State, and Utopia , a right-libertarian answer to John Rawls's A Theory of Justice...


Consider the following (too minimal) position about the treat­ment of animals. So that we can easily refer to it, let us label this position "utilitarianism for animals, Kantianism for people." It says: (1) maximize the total happiness of all living beings; (2) place stringent side constraints on what one may do to human beings. Human beings may not be used or sacrificed for the bene­fit of others; animals may be used or sacrificed for the benefit of other people or animals only if those benefits are greater than the loss inflicted.

Welfarism is often contrasted with the animal rights
Animal rights
Animal rights, also known as animal liberation, is the idea that the most basic interests of non-human animals should be afforded the same consideration as the similar interests of human beings...

 and animal liberation positions, which hold that animals should not be used by humans, and should not be regarded as their property. However, it has been argued that both welfarism and animal liberation only make sense if you assume that animals have "subjective welfare". There is some evidence that the observed difference between human belief in animal welfare and animal rights originates from two distinct attitudes
Attitude (psychology)
An attitude is a hypothetical construct that represents an individual's degree of like or dislike for something. Attitudes are generally positive or negative views of a person, place, thing, or event— this is often referred to as the attitude object...

 towards animals:
  1. Attitudes towards suffering; and
  2. Reverence for animals.


Motivation is the driving force by which humans achieve their goals. Motivation is said to be intrinsic or extrinsic. The term is generally used for humans but it can also be used to describe the causes for animal behavior as well. This article refers to human motivation...

s to improve the welfare of animals may stem from many factors including sympathy
Sympathy is a social affinity in which one person stands with another person, closely understanding his or her feelings. Also known as empathic concern, it is the feeling of compassion or concern for another, the wish to see them better off or happier. Although empathy and sympathy are often used...

, empathy
Empathy is the capacity to recognize and, to some extent, share feelings that are being experienced by another sapient or semi-sapient being. Someone may need to have a certain amount of empathy before they are able to feel compassion. The English word was coined in 1909 by E.B...

, utility, gene
A gene is a molecular unit of heredity of a living organism. It is a name given to some stretches of DNA and RNA that code for a type of protein or for an RNA chain that has a function in the organism. Living beings depend on genes, as they specify all proteins and functional RNA chains...

s (inherited traits), and meme
A meme is "an idea, behaviour or style that spreads from person to person within a culture."A meme acts as a unit for carrying cultural ideas, symbols or practices, which can be transmitted from one mind to another through writing, speech, gestures, rituals or other imitable phenomena...

s (cultural factors). Motivations can be based on self-interest. For example, animal producers might improve welfare in order to meet consumer demand for products from high welfare systems. Typically, stronger concern is given to animals that are useful to humans (farm animals, pets etc.) than those that are not (pests, wild animals etc.). The different level of sentience that various species possess, or the perception of such differences, also create a shifting level of concern. Somewhat related to this is size, with larger animals being favored.

There is some evidence to suggest that empathy is an inherited trait (genetic needs). Multiple studies have found women have greater concern for animals than men, possibly the result of it being an evolutionarily beneficial
Natural selection
Natural selection is the nonrandom process by which biologic traits become either more or less common in a population as a function of differential reproduction of their bearers. It is a key mechanism of evolution....

 trait in societies where women take care of domesticated animals while men hunt. Interestingly, more women have animal phobias than men. But animal phobias are at least partly genetically determined, and this indicates that attitudes towards animals have a genetic component. Also, children exhibit empathy for animals at a very early age , when external influences cannot be an adequate explanation.

Laws punishing cruelty to animals
Cruelty to animals
Cruelty to animals, also called animal abuse or animal neglect, is the infliction of suffering or harm upon non-human animals, for purposes other than self-defense. More narrowly, it can be harm for specific gain, such as killing animals for food or for their fur, although opinions differ with...

 tend to not just be based on welfare concerns but the belief that such behavior has repercussions toward the treatment of other humans by the animal abusers. Another argument against animal cruelty is based on aesthetics
Aesthetics is a branch of philosophy dealing with the nature of beauty, art, and taste, and with the creation and appreciation of beauty. It is more scientifically defined as the study of sensory or sensori-emotional values, sometimes called judgments of sentiment and taste...


Cultural factors that affect people's concern for animal welfare include affluence, education, tradition, religious beliefs, and political ideology. Increased affluence in many regions for the past few decades afforded consumers the disposable income to purchase products from high welfare systems. The adaptation of more economically efficient farming systems in these regions were at the expense of animal welfare and to the financial benefit of consumers, both of which were factors in driving the demand for higher welfare for farm animals. A 2006 survey concluded that a majority (63%) of EU citizens "show some willingness to change their usual place of shopping in order to be able to purchase more animal welfare-friendly products."

Interest in animal welfare continues to grow, with increasing attention being paid to it by the media, governmental and non-governmental organizations. The volume of scientific research on animal welfare has also increased significantly in some countries.

History, principles, practice

Systematic concern for the well-being of other animals probably arose in the Indus Valley Civilization
Indus Valley Civilization
The Indus Valley Civilization was a Bronze Age civilization that was located in the northwestern region of the Indian subcontinent, consisting of what is now mainly modern-day Pakistan and northwest India...

 as the religious ancestors return in animal form, and that animals must therefore be killed with the respect due to a human. This belief is exemplified in the existing religion, Jainism
Jainism is an Indian religion that prescribes a path of non-violence towards all living beings. Its philosophy and practice emphasize the necessity of self-effort to move the soul towards divine consciousness and liberation. Any soul that has conquered its own inner enemies and achieved the state...

, and in varieties of other Indian religions. Other religions, specially those with roots in the Abrahamic religions
Abrahamic religions
Abrahamic religions are the monotheistic faiths emphasizing and tracing their common origin to Abraham or recognizing a spiritual tradition identified with him...

, treat animals as the property of their owners, codifying rules for their care and slaughter intended to limit the distress, pain and fear animals experience under human control.

From the outset in 1822, when British MP Richard Martin shepherded a bill through Parliament offering protection from cruelty to cattle, horses, and sheep (earning himself the nickname Humanity Dick), the welfare approach has had human morality, and humane behaviour, at its central concern. Martin was among the founders of the world's first animal welfare organization, the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals
Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals
The Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals is a charity in England and Wales that promotes animal welfare. In 2009 the RSPCA investigated 141,280 cruelty complaints and collected and rescued 135,293 animals...

, or SPCA, in 1824. In 1840, Queen Victoria
Victoria of the United Kingdom
Victoria was the monarch of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland from 20 June 1837 until her death. From 1 May 1876, she used the additional title of Empress of India....

 gave the society her blessing, and it became the RSPCA. The society used members' donations to employ a growing network of inspectors, whose job was to identify abusers, gather evidence, and report them to the authorities.

But significant progress in animal welfare did not take place until the late 20th century. In 1965, the UK government commissioned an investigation - led by Professor Roger Brambell - into the welfare of intensively farmed animals, partly in response to concerns raised in Ruth Harrison
Ruth Harrison
Ruth Harrison was a leading British animal welfare activist and author.In 1964 she published Animal Machines which describes intensive poultry and livestock farming. The book was said to have exposed the whole reality of intensive farming...

's 1964 book, Animal Machines. On the basis of Professor Brambell's report, the UK government set up the Farm Animal Welfare Advisory Committee in 1967, which became the Farm Animal Welfare Council
Farm Animal Welfare Council
The Farm Animal Welfare Council was an independent advisory body established by the Government of Great Britain in 1979. FAWC has published its Final Report before its closure on 31 March 2011...

 in 1979. The committee's first guidelines recommended that animals require the freedoms to "stand up, lie down, turn around, groom themselves and stretch their limbs". The guidelines have since been elaborated to become known as the Five Freedoms:
  • Freedom from thirst and hunger - by ready access to fresh water and a diet to maintain full health and vigour.
  • Freedom from discomfort - by providing an appropriate environment including shelter and a comfortable resting area.
  • Freedom from pain, injury, and disease - by prevention or rapid diagnosis and treatment.
  • Freedom to express normal behavior - by providing sufficient space, proper facilities and company of the animal's own kind.
  • Freedom from fear and distress - by ensuring conditions and treatment which avoid mental suffering.

A number of animal welfare organisations are campaigning to achieve a Universal Declaration on Animal Welfare
Universal Declaration on Animal Welfare
The Universal Declaration on Animal Welfare is a proposed inter-governmental agreement to recognise that animals are sentient, to prevent cruelty and reduce suffering, and to promote standards on the welfare of animals such as farm animals, companion animals, animals in scientific research,...

 (UDAW) at the United Nations. In principle, the Universal Declaration will call on the United Nations to recognise animals as sentient beings, capable of experiencing pain and suffering, and to recognise that animal welfare is an issue of importance as part of the social development of nations worldwide. The campaign to achieve the UDAW is being co-ordinated by the World Society for the Protection of Animals, with a core working group including Compassion in World Farming
Compassion In World Farming
Compassion in World Farming is a campaigning and lobbying animal welfare organisation, with headquarters in the UK, branches in eight European countries and international representatives in China, Australia and South Africa...

, the RSPCA, and the Humane Society International (the international branch of HSUS).

Farm animals

Concern for farm animals is mainly focused on factory farming
Factory farming
Factory farming is a term referring to the process of raising livestock in confinement at high stocking density, where a farm operates as a factory — a practice typical in industrial farming by agribusinesses. The main products of this industry are meat, milk and eggs for human consumption...

, where farm animals are raised in confinement at high stocking density. Issues revolve around the limiting of natural behavior in animals (see battery cage
Battery cage
In poultry farming, battery cages are an industrial agricultural confinement system used primarily for egg-laying hens...

, veal
Veal is the meat of young cattle , as opposed to meat from older cattle. Though veal can be produced from a calf of either sex and any breed, most veal comes from male calves of dairy cattle breeds...

 and gestation crate
Gestation crate
A gestation crate, also known as a sow stall, is a 7 ft by 2 ft metal enclosure used in intensive pig farming, in which a female breeding pig may be confined during pregnancy, and in effect for most of her adult life....

), and invasive procedures such as debeaking
Debeaking, also called beak-trimming is the partial removal of the beak of poultry, especially layer hens and turkeys although it may also be performed on quail and ducks. Most commonly, the beak is shortened permanently, although regrowth can occur. The trimmed lower beak is somewhat longer than...

 and mulesing
Mulesing is a skilled surgical task that involves the removal of strips of wool-bearing skin from around the breech of a sheep to prevent flystrike in regions where it is common....

. Other issues include methods of animal slaughter
Animal slaughter
Slaughter is the term used to describe the killing and butchering of animals, usually for food. Commonly it refers to killing and butchering of domestic livestock ....

, especially ritual slaughter
Ritual slaughter
Ritual slaughter is the practice of slaughtering livestock for meat in a ritual manner. Ritual slaughter involves a prescribed method of slaughtering an animal for food production purposes...


While the killing of animals need not necessarily involve suffering, the general public considers killing an animal an act that reduces its welfare. This leads to concerns with premature slaughtering, such as the chick culling. This applies in a lesser extent to all food animals.

Animal welfare science
Animal welfare science
Animal Welfare Science is the scientific study of the welfare of animals as pets, in zoos, laboratories, on farms and in the wild. Although animal welfare has been of great concern for many thousands of years in religion and culture, the investigation of animal welfare using rigorous scientific...

 is an emerging field that seeks to answer questions raised by the use of animals, such as whether hens are frustrated when confined in cages, or whether the psychological well-being of animals in laboratories can be maintained.

United States

In the United States, a federal law called the Humane Slaughter Act (P.L. 85-765; 7 U.S.C. 1901 et seq.) was designed to protect livestock during slaughter.

On November 5, 2002, Florida voters passed Amendment 10, an amendment to the Florida Constitution banning the confinement of pregnant pigs in gestation crates. The Amendment passed by a margin of 55% for and 45% against. On November 7, 2006, Arizona voters passed Proposition 204
Proposition 204
Proposition 204 of 2006 was a law enacted by the voters of Arizona by means of the initiative process. It requires that pigs and calves used for veal on factory farms be given enough room to turn around and fully extend their limbs. The Act was approved in a vote held as part of the 2006 Arizona...

 with 62% support. The measure prohibits the confinement of calves in veal crates and breeding sows in gestation crates. On June 28, 2007, Oregon Governor
Governor of Oregon
The Governor of Oregon is the top executive of the government of the U.S. state of Oregon. The title of governor was also applied to the office of Oregon's chief executive during the provisional and U.S. territorial governments....

 Ted Kulongoski
Ted Kulongoski
Theodore R. "Ted" Kulongoski is an American politician, who served as the 36th Governor of Oregon. A Democrat, he has served in both houses of the Oregon Legislative Assembly, as the state Insurance Commissioner, the Attorney General, and an Associate Justice on the Oregon Supreme Court.-Early...

 signed a measure into law prohibiting the confinement of pigs in gestation crates (SB 694, 74th Leg. Assembly, Regular Session). On May 14, 2008, Colorado Governor
Governor of Colorado
The Governor of Colorado is the head of the executive branch of Colorado's government and the commander-in-chief of the state's military forces. The governor has a duty to enforce state laws, and the power to either approve or veto bills passed by the Colorado General Assembly, to convene the...

 Bill Ritter signed into law a bill, SB 201, that phases out gestation crates and veal crates. Also during 2008, California passed Proposition 2
California Proposition 2 (2008)
Proposition 2 was a California ballot proposition in that state's general election on November 4, 2008. It passed with 63% of the votes in favor and 37% against...

, known as the "Prevention of Farm Animal Cruelty Act", which requires new space requirements for farm animals starting in 2015.

European Union

Legislation in the European Union
European Union
The European Union is an economic and political union of 27 independent member states which are located primarily in Europe. The EU traces its origins from the European Coal and Steel Community and the European Economic Community , formed by six countries in 1958...

 protects animals from avoidable suffering during slaughter.

Germany , officially the Federal Republic of Germany , is a federal parliamentary republic in Europe. The country consists of 16 states while the capital and largest city is Berlin. Germany covers an area of 357,021 km2 and has a largely temperate seasonal climate...

, Sweden
Sweden , officially the Kingdom of Sweden , is a Nordic country on the Scandinavian Peninsula in Northern Europe. Sweden borders with Norway and Finland and is connected to Denmark by a bridge-tunnel across the Öresund....

, and Austria
Austria , officially the Republic of Austria , is a landlocked country of roughly 8.4 million people in Central Europe. It is bordered by the Czech Republic and Germany to the north, Slovakia and Hungary to the east, Slovenia and Italy to the south, and Switzerland and Liechtenstein to the...

 have all banned battery cages for egg-laying hens. The entire European Union is phasing out battery cages by 2012.

Laboratory animals

In animal testing
Animal testing
Animal testing, also known as animal experimentation, animal research, and in vivo testing, is the use of non-human animals in experiments. Worldwide it is estimated that the number of vertebrate animals—from zebrafish to non-human primates—ranges from the tens of millions to more than 100 million...

, the well-being of individual animals tend to be overridden by the potential benefits their sacrifice can bring to a large number of other animals or people. This utilitarian approach might allow intense suffering to be inflicted on individual animals if the trade-off is considered worthwhile, while a more welfare-based approach would afford all animals the right to a minimum standard of welfare.

Other welfare issues includes the quality of animal sources
Laboratory animal sources
Animals used by laboratories for testing purposes are largely supplied by dealers who specialize in selling them to universities, medical and veterinary schools, and companies that provide contract animal-testing services...

 and housing conditions.


At one time, many people denied that animals could feel anything, and thus the concept of animal welfare was meaningless. For example, many Cartesians were of this opinion. Descartes wrote that animals act "without consciousness", much like a machine. In addition, there are accounts of Descartes visiting slaughter houses to observe how animals died. Believing that the animals were devoid of sentience, Descartes thought the death throes of animals was akin to "taking apart a spring-driven clock". In the Discourse, published in 1637, Descartes wrote that the ability to reason and use language involves being able to respond in complex ways to all the "contingencies of life", something that animals "clearly cannot do". He argued from this that any sounds animals make do not constitute language, but are simply "automatic responses to external stimuli".

Animal rights advocates, such as Gary L. Francione
Gary L. Francione
Gary Lawrence Francione is an American legal scholar. He is the Distinguished Professor of Law and Nicholas deB. Katzenbach Scholar of Law & Philosophy at Rutgers School of Law-Newark....

 and Tom Regan
Tom Regan
Tom Regan is an American philosopher who specializes in animal rights theory. He is professor emeritus of philosophy at North Carolina State University, where he taught from 1967 until his retirement in 2001....

, argue that the animal welfare position (advocating for the betterment of the condition of animals, but without abolishing animal use) is inconsistent in logic and ethically unacceptable. However, there are some animal rights groups, such as PETA
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals is an American animal rights organization based in Norfolk, Virginia, and led by Ingrid Newkirk, its international president. A non-profit corporation with 300 employees and two million members and supporters, it claims to be the largest animal rights...

, which support animal welfare measures in the short term to alleviate animal suffering until all animal use is ended. According to PETA's Ingrid Newkirk
Ingrid Newkirk
Ingrid Newkirk is a British-born animal rights activist and president of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals , the world's largest animal rights organization...

 in an interview with Wikinews
Wikinews is a free-content news source wiki and a project of the Wikimedia Foundation. The site works through collaborative journalism. Wikipedia co-founder Jimmy Wales has distinguished Wikinews from Wikipedia by saying "on Wikinews, each story is to be written as a news story as opposed to an...

, there are two issues in animal welfare and animal rights. "If I only could have one thing, it would be to end suffering," said Newkirk. "If you could take things from animals and kill animals all day long without causing them suffering, then I would take it...Everybody should be able to agree that animals should not suffer if you kill them or steal from them by taking the fur off their backs or take their eggs, whatever. But you shouldn’t put them through torture to do that."

Abolitionism (animal rights)
Abolitionism (animal rights)
Abolitionism within the animal rights movement is the idea that focusing on animal welfare reform not only fails to challenge animal suffering, but may prolong it by making the exercise of property rights over animals appear acceptable. The abolitionists' objective is to secure a moral and legal...

 holds that focusing on animal welfare not only fails to challenge animal suffering, but may actually prolong it by making the exercise of property rights over animals appear less unattractive. The abolitionists' objective is to secure a moral and legal paradigm shift, whereby animals are no longer regarded as property.


World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE): The intergovernmental organisation responsible for improving animal health worldwide. The OIE has been established “for the purpose of projects of international public utility relating to the control of animal diseases, including those affecting humans and the promotion of animal welfare and animal production food safety”.

World Society for the Protection of Animals (WSPA): Tackles animal cruelty across the globe. WSPAs objectives include; helping people understand the critical importance of good animal welfare, encouraging nations to commit to animal-friendly practices and building the scientific case for the better treatment of animals. They are global in a sense that they have consultative status at the Council of Europe and collaborate with national governments, the United Nations, the Food and Agriculture Organization and the world Organization for Animal Health.


There are many organizations in Canada to help with the protection of animal welfare. They include all kinds of animals including, wildlife, livestock, companion animals, and exotic/zoo animals. In Canada most organizations are non-government Animal Welfare organizations and are heavily reliable on donations.
Non-government organizations:

National Farm Animal Care Council: Objectives are to facilitate collaboration among all members with respect to farm animal care issues, to facilitate information sharing and communication and to monitor trends and initiatives in both the domestic and international market place
Canadian Federation of Human Societies: The only national organization representing human societies and SPCAs in Canada. Provide leadership on animal welfare issues and spread the message across Canada.
The Canadian Veterinary Medical Association: Brings in veterinary involvement of Animal Welfare. Objective is to share this concern of animals with all members of the profession, with the general public, with government at all levels and with other organizations such as the Canadian Federation of Humane Societies which have similar concerns.
Canadian Council on Animal Care: The national organization responsible for overseeing the care and use of animals involved in Canadian Science.

See also

  • Abandoned pets
    Abandoned pets
    Abandoned pets are pets that are, for instance, left behind when a home goes into foreclosure or their owner passes away. These animals can be left alone on the property or dropped off at a shelter. While some are left in a shelter, they are typically discovered after the foreclosure process when...

  • Animal fancy
    Animal fancy
    Animal fancy is a hobby involving the appreciation, promotion, or breeding of pet or domestic animals.Fancy may include ownership, showing, trialling and other competitions, breeding and judging. Hobbyists may simply collect specimens of the animal in appropriate enclosures, such as aquaria and...

  • Animal law
    Animal law
    Animal law is a combination of statutory and case law in which the nature—legal, social or biological—of nonhuman animals is an important factor. Animal law encompasses companion animals, wildlife, animals used in entertainment and animals raised for food and research...

  • Animal worship
    Animal worship
    Animal worship refers to religious rituals involving animals, especially in pre-modern societies, such as the glorification of animal deities, or animal sacrifice....

  • Behavioral enrichment
  • Blood sport
    Blood sport
    Bloodsport or blood sport is any sport or entertainment that involves violence against animals.Bloodsport includes coursing or beagling, combat sports such as cockfighting and dog fighting, or other activities...

  • Cruelty to animals
    Cruelty to animals
    Cruelty to animals, also called animal abuse or animal neglect, is the infliction of suffering or harm upon non-human animals, for purposes other than self-defense. More narrowly, it can be harm for specific gain, such as killing animals for food or for their fur, although opinions differ with...

  • Eurogroup for Animals
    Eurogroup for Animals
    Eurogroup for Animals is an organisation based in Brussels, Belgium, which seeks to improve the treatment of animals throughout the European Union, and represents animal welfare organisations in almost all the European member states...

  • Feral cat
    Feral cat
    A feral cat is a descendant of a domesticated cat that has returned to the wild. It is distinguished from a stray cat, which is a pet cat that has been lost or abandoned, while feral cats are born in the wild; the offspring of a stray cat can be considered feral if born in the wild.In many parts of...

  • Francis of Assisi
    Francis of Assisi
    Saint Francis of Assisi was an Italian Catholic friar and preacher. He founded the men's Franciscan Order, the women’s Order of St. Clare, and the lay Third Order of Saint Francis. St...

  • Hunting
    Hunting is the practice of pursuing any living thing, usually wildlife, for food, recreation, or trade. In present-day use, the term refers to lawful hunting, as distinguished from poaching, which is the killing, trapping or capture of the hunted species contrary to applicable law...

  • Intrinsic value (animal ethics)
    Intrinsic value (animal ethics)
    The intrinsic value of an animal refers to the value it possesses in its own right, as an end-in-itself, as opposed to its Instrumental value, its value to other animals . The phrase has been adopted by animal rights advocates...

  • List of animal welfare groups
  • List of animal welfare parties
  • Overpopulation in companion animals
  • Pain in animals
    Pain in animals
    Pain is a sensory and emotional experience often caused by intense or damaging stimuli. The International Association for the Study of Pain says pain is a conscious experience involving unpleasantness, i.e. suffering...

  • Pain in invertebrates
    Pain in invertebrates
    Pain in invertebrates is a problematic issue. Although there are numerous definitions of pain, almost all involve two key components. First, nociception is required. This is the ability to detect noxious stimuli which evokes a reflex response that moves the entire animal, or the affected part of...

  • Poaching
    Poaching is the illegal taking of wild plants or animals contrary to local and international conservation and wildlife management laws. Violations of hunting laws and regulations are normally punishable by law and, collectively, such violations are known as poaching.It may be illegal and in...

  • Puppy mills
  • Whaling
    Whaling is the hunting of whales mainly for meat and oil. Its earliest forms date to at least 3000 BC. Various coastal communities have long histories of sustenance whaling and harvesting beached whales...

  • Women and animal advocacy
    Women and animal advocacy
    Several writers have argued that the animal advocacy movement — embracing animal rights, animal welfare, and anti-vivisectionism — has been disproportionately initiated and led by women....

  • Zoo
    A zoological garden, zoological park, menagerie, or zoo is a facility in which animals are confined within enclosures, displayed to the public, and in which they may also be bred....

  • World Organisation for Animal Health
  • World Society for the Protection of Animals
    World Society for the Protection of Animals
    The World Society for the Protection of Animals is an international non-profit animal welfare organization and also a federation of such organisations and active in over 150 countries with more than 1000 member societies.- Organization :...

  • Canadian Federation of Humane Societies
    Canadian Federation of Humane Societies
    The Canadian Federation of Humane Societies is the only national animal welfare organization representing humane societies, SPCAs, and animal rescue organizations across the country...

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