The five freedoms of animals are included to establish a humane environment for the handling and production of livestock in intensive feeding systems.

  1. TheĀ  freedom of movement
  • The feedlot pens should be constructed according to specifications of pen area, per size/mass class, ground surface and climatic conditions
  • Feedlot animals should not be left in confined spaces such as races, squeeze chutes, dipping pens, arrival pens or sorting pens indefinitely where their movement is restricted
  • The pen gradient slope should be sufficient to allow maximum runoff and speedy drying off under heavy rainy conditions
  • Pen manure removal should take place routinely but at least annually
  1. The freedom of Free Access to Fresh Feed and Water at all times
  • Pen construction should make allowance for sufficient feed bunk and water trough space to allow optimum feed and water intakes daily
  • Fresh feed should be available at all times depending on moisture content which, if high, would lead to less feed fed more regularly
  • Feed bunkers and water troughs should be cleaned routinely to ensure fresh feed and clean water
  1. The freedom to Appropriate Health Care
  • Purchasing of sick, deformed and injured animals should be avoided where possible
  • All animals should be treated for parasites where necessary and inoculated (depending on origin) and feedlot location shortly after arrival
  • All equipment used for treatment should be clean and instruments sterilized before application
  • Sick animals should be pulled timeously from pens and moved to a hospital for treatment and observation by relevantly trained workers
  • No treatment, feeding regime or practice which is detrimental to animal health should be permitted
  • Dust can cause and spread diseases and should be kept to as low a level as possible
  1. The Freedom from Injury and Suffering
  • Excessively tired or sick animals should not be transported either to or from the feedlot
  • Seriously injured or terminally sick animals should be put down as quickly and humanely as possible
  • blind and deformed animals should be kept separate to prevent further injuries
  • Handling facilities and loading ramps should be constructed to prevent animal injuries and bruising or abrasions
  • The use of damaged facilities and equipment should be suspended until repaired
  • Workers responsible for health treatment, processing, loading and unloading of animals should be relevantly trained
  • Excessively high noise levels should be prevented
  1. The Freedom from Harassment
  • Animals that are harassed by their pen mates, i.e. weaklings, injured or deformed, poor doers, riders, heifers amongst bulls and undersized animals should be removed and grouped accordingly
  • Personnel embarking on malicious ill-treatment, injudicious use of prodders and branding irons, beating with sticks or whips should be severely disciplined
  • Animals should be placed in appropriate size, age and gender categories when entering the production phase to avoid undue harassment

These Five Freedoms are underwritten by the Executive committee of the SA Feedlot Association

LWCC Statement Downloads

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