News & Events

NEWS RELEASE: Canadian Veterinary Medical Association Brings Awareness to Animal Welfare during Animal Health Week through the Five Animal Freedoms

September 28, 2017

OTTAWA, Ont. – The Canadian Veterinary Medical Association (CVMA) celebrates Animal Health Week, from October 1 to 7, by drawing attention to the important role animal owners play in animal welfare through sharing the Five Animal Freedoms.

This year’s Animal Health Week theme, Animal Welfare: Safeguarding the Five Animal Freedoms, highlights the five basic freedoms animals require to survive and thrive: adequate shelter, proper nutrition, appropriate veterinary care, proper socialization, and the ability to exhibit normal behaviours.

“The CVMA has proudly celebrated Animal Health Week for more than 30 years and we are pleased to see how much the general public’s interest in animal welfare has grown over the past three decades,” says Troye McPherson, CVMA President. “We want to help our animal owners in their endeavor to keep animals safe by sharing with them the basic elements animals in their care require to live full, healthy, and happy lives.”

The CVMA is reminding animal owners they can protect the Five Animal Freedoms by:

  • Providing proper nutrition
    • Freedom from hunger and thirst by ready access to fresh water and a diet to maintain full health and vigour.
  • Ensuring proper socialization
    • Freedom to spend time with or away from members of their species as appropriate.
  • Providing adequate shelter
    • Freedom from discomfort by providing an appropriate environment including shelter and a comfortable resting area.
  • Providing appropriate veterinary care
    • Freedom from pain, injury or disease by prevention or rapid diagnosis and treatment.
  • Allowing animals to exhibit normal behaviour
    • Freedom to express normal behaviour by providing sufficient space, proper facilities, and tools/accessories and not punishing animals for carrying out undesired behaviours.

“Providing animals with these five fundamental freedoms ensures animal health and safety, and happiness, and helps solidify the animal-owner bond,” says Dr. McPherson.

Over 200 veterinary practices across Canada are celebrating Animal Health Week this year through various events and engaging their clientele through educational resources.

The Canadian Veterinary Medical Association celebrates Animal Health Week in partnership with the Registered Veterinary Technologists and Technicians of Canada. Animal Health Week is generously sponsored by Boehringer Ingelheim, Petsecure Pet Health Insurance, iFinance Petcard, and Elanco.


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Associated Links

The Canadian Veterinary Medical Association is the national and international voice for Canada’s veterinarians, providing leadership and advocacy for veterinary medicine. Animal Health Week is a national public awareness campaign organized by the CVMA and hosted by veterinarians across Canada. Each year, during the first week of October, veterinarians and veterinary hospitals and clinics across Canada promote animal health and responsible animal ownership as part the of Animal Health Week celebrations. Visit to learn more about CVMA.

Lori Tarbett
Canadian Veterinary Medical Association
613-236-1162 ext. 125