Animal Welfare Policies

The USPCA animal welfare policies represent the considered position held by the USPCA on particular animal welfare issues. However, readers should be aware of the constraints placed by current charity law on all animal welfare charities. They cannot pursue policies which, while benefiting animals, would have a serious detrimental effect on humankind. Further they cannot oppose uses of animals for which there are no alternatives, but which may cause pain, suffering or distress and where there is an overriding benefit to humans. Accordingly, all policy statements which follow, should be read in that context.

The general principle on which the USPCA operates is based on the fact that vertebrates and some invertebrates feel pain and experience distress. The charity believes that, where there is doubt about whether or not animals are suffering, the benefit of the doubt should always be given to the animals.

There are many examples of practices involving animal use by humans in the UK and worldwide which cause significant pain and suffering. Many of these practices are referred to in the following pages. The USPCA will do all it can to reduce this suffering and through influencing legislative change, or the adoption of sound, well-monitored and enforced standards, will seek to improve the welfare of the animals concerned. The charity believes that it is important to protect the interests of individual animals and that the responsibility to ensure that this is the case lies with us, the human species.