Five Freedoms of Animal Welfare

July 23, 2021

Five Freedoms of Animal Welfare

The UEP Certified Program addresses the Five Freedoms of Animal Welfare, ensuring excellent care and quality of life for hens.

  • Freedom from Hunger and Thirst
  • Freedom from Discomfort Due to the Environment
  • Freedom from Pain, Injury or Disease
  • Freedom to Express Normal Behavior for the Species
  • Freedom from Fear and Distress

Fresh feed and water must be available to hens at all times. Along with the ability to regularly eat and drink, hens need the ability to move throughout their cages and interact with other hens. UEP cage-free standards require hens have the opportunity to express even more natural behaviors such as dust bathing and scratching. Hens are in housing that protects them from environmental extremes and provides a continuous flow of fresh air. Standards are in place to help ensure healthy hens and to mitigate potentially painful medical treatments. Procedures, if utilized, are done to improve the general welfare of the hens. Methods are implemented to help hens be free of fear and distress from other hens, including separation of hens into cages, or in cage-free systems, access to appropriate perches.

In support of the Five Freedoms of Animal Welfare, UEP Certified has zero-tolerance for willful acts of abuse and neglect, requiring all UEP Certified egg producers to implement a policy enforcing this commitment. All caretakers and anyone working with the hens must sign a Code of Conduct committing to this requirement. These and many other standards help ensure the Five Freedoms for hens that are raised to the UEP Certified standards. To learn more, please read the complete UEP Certified Cage and UEP Certified Cage-Free guidelines.

More than 90 percent of eggs produced in the U.S. come from farms that voluntarily participate in UEP Certified, choosing to open their farms to independent auditors. Eggs from certified farms feature the UEP Certified or UEP Certified Cage-Free seal on the egg carton.