There is an increase in public concern when it comes to improving animal welfare. This has generated the demand for animal welfare to become a science that seeks to understand the nature of animal emotions and from this to improve the quality of their lives. Animal welfare scientists have a responsibility to carry out research and publish papers. They are then read by other scientists and also used to communicate new understanding to the general public.
Perky Tails Toys has been following these discussions and also keeping abreast of the published academic papers written by two experts in this field. They are John Webster from the Animal Welfare Science department of the University of Bristol in the UK, and David J. Mellor from the Animal Welfare Science and Bioethics Centre at the Massey University in New Zealand. We’ve recently been reading two journals that David J. Mellor and John Webster wrote in 2015-2016. In which contain discussions on the subject of animal welfare and suggest improving the following animal welfare models that are currently used all over the world.
This blog highlights the critical points the journals bring up, that focus on how to improve your dog’s mental health and not just their welfare.
‘The Five Freedoms’ is a set of standards for humane animal care that have been internationally respected and embraced by animal protection organisations all over the world.
Within the journals, Mellor suggests that the model FF could be enhanced and suggests that drawing in another concept ‘The Five Provisions’ would complement it. His conversation wants to bring in the subject of animal’s mental health as it is as crucial to their quality of life.
Webster correctly pointed out that ‘The Five Freedoms’ formulated the Five Freedoms paradigm in 1993/1994. He stated, ‘The Five Freedoms’, were not intended to represent an overall picture of the mental state of animals, but instead are designed to be more of a reference and a set of signposts to guide appropriate action for non-specialists.
Here is the list of The Five Freedoms, followed by questions we developed to help you assess whether you are caring for your dog’s correctly, and highlighting any areas you could improve:
Here is the list of The Five Provisions, followed by questions we developed to help you assess whether you are caring for your dogs correctly, and highlight any areas you could improve:
The aims of FF/FP and FD are different but complementary. FD is more focused on assessing the impact of the physical and social environment on the mental state of animals.
David J. Mellor’s model emphasises maximising our animals’ positive experiences and minimising their negative ones. The approach moves beyond animal welfare, which means caring for its basic needs, to the modern and more humane concept of animal well-being and mental health necessary for quality of life.
Here is the list of the Five Domains, followed by questions we developed to help you assess whether you are caring for your dog’s correctly, and highlight any areas you could improve:
These are the Five Domains as currently accepted worldwide:
This concept report stated the QOLS was originally a 15-item instrument that measured five conceptual domains of quality of life: material and physical well-being, relationships with other people, social, community and civic activities, personal development and fulfilment, and recreation.
This model had to motivate those responsible for animal care to focus both on minimising the negative experiences and promoting positive experiences more. In other words, – the overall objective is to provide opportunities for animals to thrive, not merely survive.
Here is the list of the QOLS, along with questions we developed to help you assess whether you are caring for your dog correctly and highlight any areas you could improve:
Now you have read through all the concepts that are current. Take another look at the three models explained above and make critical self-examination when it comes to the care you give to your dogs. Then you need to check how well you have done, honestly. Take steps to improve your score and maybe revisit this page in six months and do the test again.