The BC SPCA is opposed to the infliction of pain or suffering upon, or the killing of any animal, explicitly for clothing or any aesthetic purpose. This position applies, but is not limited to, the killing or use of animals for their fur and the use of animals for artistic display.
The BC SPCA accepts the use of animals for clothing or aesthetic purpose only when the methods used to raise the animals meet the Five Freedoms and only if the harvest of the fibre or product:
- is a by-product of food production (e.g., leather); or
- does not necessitate the killing of the animal (e.g., wool).
Approved by the Board of Directors – April 2008
Aesthetic: Any purpose that is purely for visual or artistic effect, including fashion or art of any kind.
Five Freedoms: A concept first developed in 1965 by The Brambell Committee, formed by the UK government to examine the conditions on commercial farms. Now internationally recognized, the Five Freedoms are considered applicable to all animals.
The BC SPCA’s Five Freedoms (adapted from the original list) are:
- Freedom from hunger and thirst;
- Freedom from pain, injury and disease;
- Freedom from distress;
- Freedom from discomfort;
- Freedom to express behaviours that promote well-being.
The BC SPCA’s Five Freedoms form the basis of the Society’s Charter and describe conditions that must be fulfilled in order to prevent the suffering of all animals in human care. The Society acknowledges that these freedoms are not enforceable and that absolute provision of these freedoms may not be possible, but strongly encourages all animal guardians to strive to provide them.