The Saskatchewan SPCA has developed position statements relating to a variety of animal welfare and husbandry issues. These statements are helpful in the development of Saskatchewan SPCA policies and procedures, and serve to educate the public on topical animal welfare issues.
General Position Statement
The Saskatchewan SPCA believes the welfare of animals must take precedence over personal gain in humans’ stewardship of those animals.
The Saskatchewan SPCA opposes any operation that provides substandard care to animals.
The Saskatchewan SPCA is opposed to the use of illegal activities to achieve animal welfare objectives. (Accepted by Education Committee April 16, 2009).
The Saskatchewan SPCA accepts the Five Freedoms as fundamental criteria for assessing animal welfare (adopted by the Saskatchewan SPCA Board of Directors, April 8, 2006).
The Farm Animal Welfare Council (FAWC) states:
“The welfare of an animal includes its physical and mental state and we consider that good animal welfare implies both fitness and a sense of well-being. Any animal kept by man, must at least, be protected from unnecessary suffering.”
We believe that an animal’s welfare, whether on farm, in transit, at market or at a place of slaughter should be considered in terms of “five freedoms.” These freedoms define ideal states rather than standards for acceptable welfare. They form a logical and comprehensive framework for analysis of welfare within any system together with the steps and compromises necessary to safeguard and improve welfare within the proper constraints of an effective livestock industry.
- Freedom from Hunger and Thirst – 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 or Disease – by prevention or rapid diagnosis and treatment.
- Freedom to Express Normal Behaviour – 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.
Stockmanship – the Key to Welfare
Stockmanship, plus the training and supervision necessary to achieve required standards, are key factors in the handling and care of livestock. A management system may be acceptable in principle but without competent, diligent stockmanship the welfare of animals cannot be adequately safeguarded. We lay great stress on the need for better awareness of welfare needs, for better training and supervision.”
The above information was taken from the Farm Animal Welfare Council’s website: www.fawc.org.uk/freedoms.htm
Definitions used in the position statements:
“Animal” in this context are vertebrate species which includes fish, amphibians, reptiles, birds and mammals.
“Welfare” is a state of physical and psychological well-being.
“Humane”: actions which are characterized by compassion, sympathy and mercy.
“Owner”: one who has the right of possession
“Caregiver”: one who is responsible for the welfare of an animal.
“Puppy Mill”: The National Companion Animal Coalition (NCAC) defines puppy mill as a high volume, substandard dog breeding operation which sells purebred or mixed breed dogs.
Position Statement on Animal Training
The Saskatchewan SPCA believes all training of animals should be based on positive reinforcement methods, so the desired result is achieved with as little stress to the animal(s) as possible. (March 16, 2014)
Position Statement on Animals in Agriculture
The Saskatchewan SPCA recognizes that animals have been and will continue to be kept for agricultural purposes. The Saskatchewan SPCA supports the responsible care, management and use of animals in agriculture. (March 16, 2014)
Position Statement on Euthanasia
The Saskatchewan SPCA advocates the humane euthanasia of animals to relieve unnecessary suffering. (March 16, 2014)
Position Statement on Hunt Farms
The Saskatchewan SPCA accepts hunt farms provided the animals are well cared for and humanely killed. (March 16, 2014)
Position Statement on Routine Livestock Husbandry Practices
The Saskatchewan SPCA accepts the Codes of Practice as a minimum standard for the care and handling of farm animals. The Saskatchewan SPCA encourages the ongoing review of the Codes to ensure their continuous improvement. (March 16, 2014)
Position Statement on Slaughter of Animals
The Saskatchewan SPCA recognizes that animals are and will continue to be slaughtered for food. During all stages of the procedure until death, the humane treatment of the animal must be ensured. (March 16, 2014)