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The 5 Freedoms for Animals are vitally important for the health of all animals.

The 5 Freedoms are endorsed by the World Organisation for Animal Health (WOAH) and are available to learners in all 11 official South African languages.

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See the call by the World Organisation for Animal Health (WOAH) for global collaboration to make animal health and welfare a priority, for the sake of the health of all.

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Forging an understanding of the
emotional, psychological and mental states
of animals in our care

Global concern for the welfare of animals is increasing rapidly and with it,

two important developments have recently come into being.

Firstly, the World Organisation for Animal Health has changed its acronym

from OIE (based on the French version of its name) to WOAH,

making the organisation more accessible internationally.


The second development is the Five Animal Domains.

While the Five Freedoms for Animals are a basic checklist of fundamental needs of animals

in our care, the Five Animal Domains, on the other hand, refer to the implications of our

treatment of animals in our care on their emotional, psychological and mental states of being.


The essence of this development is that our care should facilitate that

animals thrive and not simply survive.

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Leading Educators suggest that as humans become involved in projects for the restoration of nature, they also heal themselves and many of the mental health issues that plague society today.

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Professor Glen Albrecht

Geoscientist, eco-philosopher and author of

Earth Emotions: New Words for a New World

“To repair and restore this Earth is now the

highest good that I can think of.”

He invites everyone to step out of the current Anthropocene era (where human self-interest dominates and destroys)

and become part of the Symbiocene era in which all

human activity supports all life.

Professor Karin Murris

Associate Professor at the School of Education, University

of Cape Town, and author of The Posthuman Child

She suggests the focus of education be turned away

from Westernised Humanism, towards Posthumanism

with its understanding of the

“connectivity and interdependency between all

earth dwellers including human animals, other animals and nonhumans (e.g. machines)."

Professor Kai Horsthemke,

visiting lecturer at the University of the Witwatersrand

School of Education and author of Animal Rights Education

The current model of Education, he says,

“emotionally desensitizes children to the suffering of animals, reinforcing the prejudice that the value of an animal is dependent on its usefulness to man.” 

Andreas Schleicher,

 Director for Education and Skills, and Special Advisor on Education Policy to the Secretary-General at the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). 

He suggests that as AI (artificial intelligence) gradually

takes over many of the jobs that keep us busy now,

“We should cultivate in our children that special

thing that sets us apart from AI, the very thing

that makes us uniquely human – our capacity for empathy and creativity.” If we don’t, he says,

“the world will be educating second-class robots

and not first-class humans”.


Professor Simon Baron-Cohen,

professor of Developmental Psychopathology at the University of Cambridge and author of the bookThe Science of Evil. 

He suggests that instead of using the term evil, we should

talk about reduced or even absent empathy.

It is puzzling that in school curricula, empathy

figures hardly at all… The erosion of empathy is

a critical global issue of our time.”

Dr Magdie van Heerden,

social worker specialising in the Human-Animal bond.

She says: “The development of empathy should

be a focal point in education. It starts with the

teddy bear in the cot and with the companion

animals in our homes. Child welfare and animal welfare are intertwined and we cannot split

the one from the other as we strive towards

emotional health in our communities.”


Dr Rainer Ebert, lecturer in Philosophy at the University of Dar es Salaam, and Dr Anteneh Roba, physician and president of the International Fund for Africa, are joint editors of Africa and her Animals, published by the UNISA Press.

They state: “This book is intended as a call upon the reader to take nonhuman animals seriously,

as individuals, and as members of our moral community. We want to challenge the common view

that animals are essentially inferior to humans.” 

For more info refer to Education Rewired

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