What is Animal Welfare?

An uncared for dog suffering from a nasty skin condition.An uncared for dog suffering from a nasty skin condition.

The SPCA's goal is to prevent any unnecessary suffering of animals, our mission statement is:

To promote kindness to animals, to protect their health and welfare, to prevent cruelty, alleviate suffering and through education, to inspire in the community a deep respect for life so that all living creatures may live together in harmony.

So what does "animal welfare" mean exactly?

A concern for animal welfare begins on the premise that animals are sentient beings, that are capable of feeling, and are able to experience both suffering and well-being. Numerous studies have shown that animals are complex beings, able to experience emotions, communicate with each other, learn and feel pain.

Animal welfare is about ensuring the wellbeing of the individual animal
from the animal's point of view.
It includes animal health and encompasses both the physical and psychological state of the animal.

A key element of animal welfare work is raising awareness through education. The pages in this Animal Welfare section will give you a good understanding of Hong Kong's animal welfare issues. For example, understanding the Five Freedoms of animal welfare is central to evaluating the basic well-being of an animal.