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ANIMAL WELFARE

Animal health. Animal welfare. Animal well-being.

Part of the problem of enforcing any law is interpretation. While a statute can clearly state that the
health and well-being of an animal must be considered or that animals can be seized if they are in
pain or suffering, who decides what this means if the terms are not defined in law?

Animal law is rapidly growing and evolving.

We all know cruelty when we see it, or do we?

The field of “animal law” has grown dramatically in the past 15 years, as has people’s interest in
how animals are treated, what laws exist, and how these laws are enforced. The Animal Folks
website focuses primarily on criminal statutes.

THE CAUSE

What causes a person to be cruel?

Some cruelty against animals is done intentionally with violence and malice; other cruelty is due to
mental illness, old age, lack of money, ignorance or commercial interests. While these factors may be
raised as defenses, there are no excuses for committing cruelty to an animal.

THE FIVE FREEDOMS

In 1965, the UK government commissioned an investigation into the welfare of intensively farmed
animalswhich resulted in what’s known as The Five Freedoms. These Five Freedoms are now
widely accepted as guidelines for the welfare of all animals.

DEFINITIONS

We all know cruelty when we see it, or do we?

What one person considers normal or “okay” behavior towards animals, another would not tolerate.
Thisis why it’s important to look within law as a starting point for definitions which, if not sufficient,
can beargued in a court of law or changed at the Legislature.