top of page

UDAW: Five Freedoms

The Universal Declaration on Animal Welfare (UDAW) is a proposed inter-governmental agreement to recognise that animals are sentient, to prevent cruelty and reduce suffering, and to promote standards on the welfare of animals such as farm animals, companion animals, animals in scientific research, draught animals, wildlife, and animals in recreation.

The UDAW was conceived in 2000 by a group of animal welfare organizations including World Animal Protection, which now acts as its Secretariat, Compassion in World Farming, RSPCA, the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) and the Humane Society of the United States. A key part of the UDAW is the 'Five Freedoms',

which Little Steps Matter are proud to share and support. 

The Five Freedoms outline five aspects of animal welfare under human control. They were developed in response to a 1965 UK Government report on livestock husbandry, and were formalised in 1979 press statement by the UK Farm Animal Welfare Council


The Five Freedoms have been adopted by professional groups including veterinarians, and organisations including the World Organisation for Animal Health, the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, and the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.


They demand that all animals have:

  1. Freedom from hunger or thirst, by ready access to fresh water and a diet to maintain full health & vigour
  2. Freedom from discomfort, by providing an appropriate environment including shelter & comfortable resting area
  3. Freedom from pain, injury or disease, by prevention or rapid diagnosis & treatment
  4. Freedom to express (most) normal behaviour, by providing sufficient space, proper facilities & company of the animal's own kind
  5. Freedom from fear and distress, by ensuring conditions & treatment which avoid mental suffering
bottom of page