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A question that often gets asked by those new to animal care relates to the difference between animal rights and animal welfare. Both are pro-animal fields and share a lot of common ideals. However, there are some very fundamental differences between the two. Here we take a look at the difference between animal rights and animal welfare in closer detail.

So, why not sit back and relax while we examine the philosophical and practical differences between the two? We begin by looking at animal rights.

Animal Rights
The philosophy of animal rights is that animals should be afforded the same or very similar rights to the ones enjoyed by human beings. This includes the belief that animals should not be exploited by humans in any way or indeed used as livestock or food to feed us. Those holding these beliefs can vary a great deal, from those who just choose to eat meat to others - at the other end of the scale - who actively protest against any form of animal exploitation.

As things stand, animals have very few rights and are still regarded by law as property worldwide. The only animal rights that currently exist relating to the prevention of ‘unnecessary’ cruelty to animals. Those animals that are killed for food are required to be treated humanely. However, many countries around the world pay no heed to these guidelines.

There are still many animals being mistreated, tortured and killed inhumanely around the world. Hence, it’s perhaps unsurprising that many organisations and groups like PETA and the WWF have been set up to protect them and stand up for their welfare. It’s a fight that goes on every day.

Animal Welfare
Now we come to animal welfare, which deals with the practicalities of how animals are looked after and the conditions in which they are kept. Relating to how animals are housed, fed and kept, those active in animal welfare make it their business to ensure that as many animals as possible are treated in the most humane conditions possible.

Proponents of animal welfare may not be against using animals in sports, recreation or farming; however, they will expect that any animals used are well provided for, comfortable, disease-free and emotionally well. Animal welfare groups exist in sports, entertainment, and any arena where animals are regularly used. Their role is to ensure that animal welfare is considered at all times.

Ever Thought About a Career in Animal Care?
When you closely examine the difference between animal rights and animal welfare, you realise that there is quite a bit of common ground. The differences are pretty subtle but fundamental, all the same, with animal rights fighting for animals to be afforded more rights and animal welfare mainly concerned with ensuring that animal welfare laws are adhered to.

If animal rights or animal welfare is a matter dear to your heart, then you may have considered a career in animal care at some point. We’re here to tell you that there has never been a better time to get into animal care as demand for those with the requisite skills is set to increase significantly over the coming years. What’s more, you can train for your dream animal care job online at your own pace!

At Online Courses Australia, we offer a range of animal care courses that provide you with everything you need for a rewarding career working with animals.

Are you interested in becoming a vet nurse or vet assistant? Check out our best-selling vet nurse course


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