The Five Freedoms

The Five Freedoms outline five aspects of animal welfare under human control. They were developed in response to a 1965 UK Government report on livestock husbandry, and were formalized in about 1979 by the UK Farm Animal Welfare Council.

The Five Freedoms are cornerstones of animal welfare and form the basis of our SPCA Blue Tick® standards. The SPCA Blue Tick® standards can only be met after confirmation by an Royal New Zealand SPCA employee or an third party auditor contracted by Royal New Zealand SPCA who has been trained to our SPCA Blue Tick® standards. Following this, the SPCA Blue Tick® will issue a 'Certificate of Approval' for the farm or the site that has successfully passed the audit.

The Five Freedoms are:

1. Freedom from Hunger or Thirst

Livestock must have freedom from hunger, thirst and malnutrition by ready access to fresh water and a diet designed to maintain full health. Feed and water must be distributed in such a way that livestock can eat and drink without undue competition.


2. Freedom from Discomfort

The environment in which livestock is kept must take into account its welfare needs and be designed to limit any welfare implications from physical and thermal discomfort. Caregivers has to provide a nice environment including shelter and a comfortable resting area. The shelter must be weather proof, free from drafts, wind, rain and full sun.


3. Freedom from Pain, Injury and Disease

Livestock must be protected from pain, injury and disease by keeping the environment free from any hazards. The environment in which the animals are housed must be conducive to good health. All producers must develop a health plan in consultation with their veterinarian.


4. Freedom to Express Natural Behaviour

The environment in which the animals are kept must allow them to express natural and normal behaviour appropriate to their age by providing space, proper facilities and the company of other animals.


5. Freedom from Fear and Distress

The environment and actions of caregivers must be such that the livestock is protected from fear and distress by ensuring conditions and treatment to avoid mental suffering.


If you have a question about the SPCA Blue Tick® accreditation, please don't hesitate to contact us for more information. Have a look at some of our more frequently asked questions to see if your query has already been answered.



©Royal New Zealand SPCA 2016. All rights reserved
Charity Number CC22705