Animal Care Australia’s position is to promote welfare education over regulation. Our goal is to promote and encourage high standards in all interactions with the animals in our care, to encourage responsible pet ownership, and the respectful treatment of all animals in our community.
We support and consult in the continued development of animal welfare law at all levels of government, including federal, state and local government. ACA will consult on all relevant legislation to protect your rights as an animal owner. We will continue to defend against changes that could impair your ability to keep, show, compete or work with, and to engage in all lawful activities with your animals and pets.
Animal Care Australia acknowledges the requirement under legislation to ensure minimum animal care standards can be enforced. We support mandatory minimum standards and codes of practice designed to encourage the improvement of higher animal welfare. Animal Care Australia recognises animal keeping organisations are well placed as experts in their specific species and we strongly encourage their inclusion in the development and review of both minimum standards ad codes of practice.
As a society we have a responsibility to provide ‘whole of life’ welfare and protection for all animals living within our care, and accordingly Animal Care Australia will continue to advocate for the rights to ethically breed animals, and promote responsible breeding activities that are designed to ensure the highest welfare outcomes, thereby protecting the continued existence of each species and breed.
Animal Care Australia does not discriminate against species or breeds where the appropriate care for the health and welfare, in compliance with all state/territory laws that govern the keeping of those animals, is being met.
It is intended that Animal Care Australia’s welfare policies and positions will be improved upon as the science of animal welfare is updated.
So what is animal welfare?
Animal Care Australia’s definition of Animal Welfare recognises the World Organization for Animal Health’s definition, with a few minor adjustments.
Animal Care Australia’s definition:Animal welfare means the physical and mental state of an animal in relation to the conditions in which it lives and dies.
An animal experiences good welfare if the animal is healthy, comfortable, well nourished, safe, is not suffering from unpleasant states such as pain, fear and distress, and is able to express behaviours that are important for its physical and mental state.
How is it achieved?
Good animal welfare is achieved by following the Five Domains. This requires disease prevention and appropriate veterinary care, shelter, management, nutrition, a stimulating and safe environment, humane handling, and a stable mental health outcome. Good animal welfare also requires humane end of life at the appropriate time. While animal welfare refers to the state of the animal, the treatment that an animal receives is covered by other terms such as animal care, animal husbandry, and humane treatment.
The Five Domains is a science-based structure for assessing animal welfare, which recognises that animals can experience feelings, ranging from negative to positive. It provides a best-practice framework to assess welfare in animals of all species.
The Five Domains is considered more contemporary in the field of animal welfare science and is a refinement of the Five Freedoms and a framework for overall assessment of quality of life.
What are Animal Care Australia’s welfare policies and position statements?
For ease in explaining where we position ourselves in the ongoing battle between animal welfare and animal rights we have separated different aspects of animal caring and keeping into the following – Animal Care Australia:
- SUPPORTS animal welfare and OPPOSES animal rights
- SUPPORTS keeping and breeding pets and companion animals
- supports and encourages Responsible Pet Ownership
- supports and encourages Responsible Breeding
- supports and encourages Responsible Buying and Selling
- SUPPORTS animal agility events, equestrian activities, recreational carriage driving and dog sporting events