The Five Freedoms stemmed from a concern for the animals in large scale, industrial farms in the United Kingdom in the 1960s. Drafted up as a set of advisory guidelines by the Farm Animal Welfare Council in 1979, the Five Freedoms form the basis of much animal welfare legislation in the UK, as well as the European Union's policy on farm animal welfare.
So, what are they?
Freedom from Hunger and Thirst - by ready access to fresh water and a diet to maintain full health and vigour.
Freedom from Discomfort - by providing an appropriate environment including shelter and a comfortable resting area.
Freedom from Pain, Injury or Disease - by prevention or rapid diagnosis and treatment.
Freedom to Express Normal Behaviour - by providing sufficient space, proper facilities and company of the animal's own kind.
Freedom from Fear and Distress - by ensuring conditions and treatment which avoid mental suffering.
But what animals in Hong Kong should these freedoms apply to?
Food animals are every bit as sentient, every bit as capable of fear, pain and suffering and every bit worth respecting as our pet cats and dogs.