'Animal welfare' means how an animal is coping with the conditions in which it lives. An animal is in a good state of welfare if (as indicated by scientific evidence) it is healthy, comfortable, well nourished, safe, able to express innate behaviour, and if it is not suffering from unpleasant states such as pain, fear, and distress. Good animal welfare requires disease prevention and veterinary treatment, appropriate shelter, management, nutrition, humane handling and humane slaughter/killing. Animal welfare refers to the state of the animal; the treatment that an animal receives is covered by other terms such as animal care, animal husbandry, and humane treatment."
Source: OIE (World Organization for Animal Health)
Chapter 7.1. Introduction to the recommendations for animal welfare. Terrestrial Animal Health Code 2010
'Animal welfare – it's your duty to care'. 'Duty of Care' is an obligation for people to take reasonable measures to protect the welfare of any animals that their activities may impact upon.
To learn more about animal welfare globally, visit the OIE website. The OIE is the intergovernmental organisation responsible for improving animal health worldwide.OIE One Welfare
Victoria's Animal Welfare Reform Project
In 2016, the Victorian Government announced a reform to animal welfare.
The Victorian Government is developing the first ever Action Plan for improving the welfare of animals in Victoria. The Draft Action Plan was released for public comment in September 2016. Feedback from submissions, meetings and workshops will help shape the five year Action Plan for Animal Welfare.
Please visit the Animal Welfare Reform project page to find out more.
Reporting animal cruelty
The department's record of prosecutions
Animal welfare resources
- New: Farmed Bird Welfare Science Review
- 2015 Changes to the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act 1986
- Animal welfare toolkit for livestock veterinarians
- Caring for animals during extreme heat
- Legislation and codes of practice
- Animals in emergencies
- Animal welfare information sheets
- Animals in Research and Teaching
- Companion Animal Welfare
- Humane vertebrate pest control
- Aquatic Animal Welfare
- Animal Welfare email information subscription