Policies

Animal Welfare [draft by Roy Brown commission]

  • Status / Pending-review

Our responsibility for each other, including for future generations, leads humanists to promote activities and practices that support ecological balance, sustainable development, biodiversity and animal welfare.

The obligations that we have to other animals, arising out of their ability to suffer, add an ethical dimension to discussions about how we should treat them.

IHEU supports the idea that other animals should be treated according to the fundamental principles of animal welfare, called the Five Freedoms:

  1. Freedom from hunger and thirst – by ready access to fresh water and a diet designed to maintain full health and vigor;
  2. Freedom from discomfort – by the provision of an appropriate environment including shelter and a comfortable resting area;
  3. Freedom from pain, injury or disease – by prevention or through rapid diagnosis and treatment;
  4. Freedom to express normal behavior – by the provision of sufficient space, proper facilities and company of the animal’s own kind; and
  5. Freedom from fear and distress – by the assurance of conditions that avoid mental suffering.

IHEU supports the proposal to adopt the Universal Declaration on Animal Welfare (UDAW) proposed by the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) and the World Society for the Protection of Animals (WSPA).

Some humanists practice vegetarianism or veganism as a consequence of the ethical and environmental arguments favouring these practices. What is certain is that we have an ethical duty to other animals to refrain from inflicting avoidable pain, and this should be the basis of all regulations governing the slaughter of animals for meat. Any exemptions to the requirements to stun animals ahead of slaughter for religious reasons should be removed, not least because it is now possible to find ways of pre-stunning acceptable for religious traditions.
Reference:
See www.udaw.org

 

[Information about ratification unknown]

Suggested academic reference

'Animal Welfare [draft by Roy Brown commission]', Humanists International

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