WSPA believes that:
WSPA insists that all animals owned by or under the care of humans should be kept in conditions appropriate to the needs of the species. Where the physiological and behavioral needs of a species cannot be met, the animals should not be captive.
The key difference between animal conservation and animal welfare is that conservation focuses on species, populations and habitats, whereas welfare focuses on the individual animal.
Animal welfare is defined by both the physical and psychological state of an animal and the conditions in which it lives.
The welfare of an animal can be described as good if the individual is fit, healthy and free from suffering.
WSPA assesses the welfare of animals using the Five Freedoms (Farm Animal Welfare Council, 2003):
These represent a useful ‘checklist’ to quickly identify situations which compromise good animal welfare – that is, any situation that causes fear, pain, discomfort, injury, disease or behavioral distress.
Methods of killing animals are critical as the process can often cause extreme pain and distress before death occurs. WSPA advocates humane slaughter methods.