Five Domains

From WikiAnimal

The Five Domains framework

The Five Domains is a framework developed to help people understand the different areas of animal welfare. It was created by a group of animal welfare experts from around the world, with the aim of providing a comprehensive approach to assessing animal welfare.

The Five Domains are:

  1. Nutrition
  2. Environment
  3. Health
  4. Behavior
  5. Mental State


The first domain is nutrition, which refers to the animal's ability to obtain and consume appropriate food and water. This includes not only the quantity of food and water available but also its quality, variety, and accessibility.

Animals need a balanced and varied diet to maintain good health, and they should be able to access clean water at all times. Inadequate nutrition can lead to a range of health problems, including malnutrition, dehydration, and obesity.


The second domain is the animal's environment, which includes the physical and social conditions in which the animal lives. This includes factors such as temperature, lighting, air quality, noise levels, space, and social interaction.

Animals need an environment that meets their specific needs, whether they are wild or domesticated. For example, a wild animal may require access to a particular type of vegetation, while a domesticated animal may need a comfortable place to sleep and play.


The third domain is health, which refers to the animal's physical and mental well-being. This includes not only the absence of disease and injury but also the presence of positive emotions such as happiness and contentment.

Animals need regular veterinary care to maintain good health, and they should be protected from diseases and injuries. Mental health is also important, and animals should be provided with opportunities to engage in natural behaviors and social interactions.


The fourth domain is behavior, which refers to the animal's ability to express natural behaviors. This includes activities such as foraging, socializing, and playing.

Animals need to be able to express their natural behaviors in order to maintain good mental health. This can be challenging in captivity, where animals may be limited in their ability to engage in natural behaviors. Providing enrichment activities and social interaction can help to address this.

Mental State

The fifth domain is the animal's mental state, which refers to its emotional well-being. This includes factors such as stress, fear, and anxiety.

Animals should be protected from stressors that can cause negative emotions, such as overcrowding, isolation, and exposure to loud noises. Providing opportunities for positive experiences, such as play and social interaction, can help to promote good mental health.

The Five Domains provide a comprehensive framework for assessing animal welfare. By considering all of these factors, we can better understand the needs of animals and work to ensure that they are provided with an environment that promotes good health and well-being.

See also