The Five Freedoms

At S.O.S. we are constantly endeavouring to upgrade and improve accommodation and facilities to uphold the highest standards of avian welfare.

In order that accredited standards of husbandry are adhered to, the Sanctuary has adopted what are known as "The Five Freedoms" as the fundemental benchmarks for the monitoring and assessment of our facilities and the procedures that it employs.

In 1965, a UK government report on livestock husbandry highlighted discrepancies in animal welfare standards in the context of intensively farmed animals.

This was known as the Brambell Report after Professor Roger Brambell, who led the investigation into conditions on livestock farms.

The report’s conclusion stated that every intensively farmed animal should…..”at least have sufficient freedom of movement to be able, without difficulty, to turn around, groom itself, stand up, lie down and stretch its limbs.”

The sanctuary takes pride in it’s high animal
welfare standards - spacious, naturalistic
aviaries = physical and emotional bird health.

As a result of this report, the Farm Animal Welfare Advisory Committee was created to monitor the livestock sector. This evolved into the Farm Animal Welfare Council in 1979 and Brambell’s Five Freedoms became central to it’s recommendations for farm animal welfare standards.

The Five Freedoms benchmark has since been adopted by numerous professional groups including veterinary surgeons, the R.S.P.C.A. and the World Organisation for Animal Health and the Suffolk Owl Sanctuary is proud to add it’s name to the body of animal welfare providers aspiring to it's recommendations.


Today, the Five Freedoms are currently expressed as:

Freedom from hunger or 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 place

Freedom from pain, injury or disease - by prevention or by rapid diagnosis and treatment.

Freedom to express (most) 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.