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Animal Welfare


Kindifarm holds a license (48552) with the Department of Primary Industry, and has an A rating (Audit 106182 on 2/2/2018). The audit covers our records and procedures; husbandry, nutrition hygiene and health; enclosures exhibits and housing; human safety, personnel and training; and education, animal training and interaction.

It is predicted that by 2050 there will be a 68% extinction of animal species from 1970 (Tilman et al 2017). They are vanishing before scientists have recognised how capable animals are. We are only just beginning to discover the common mental attributes that all mammals have. (http://www.mdpi.com/2076-2615/7/12/87/htm#B134-animals-07-00087)  Kindifarm’s aim is for animals to be appreciated for their mental attributes, not just their physical ones. That all animals learn. That all animals have ‘personalities’. For children to enjoy an emotional contact with another species.

The Australian Veterinary Association recognises the important role Kindifarm plays ‘in educating the general public about how humans interact with animals, and also provide joy and entertainment for the participants. A key benefit is to expose urban families to the lifestyles of rural families and promote an understanding of food, fibre and hide production.   http://www.ava.com.au/node/54551

Thank you to everyone who is empathetic towards animals, and interested in our animal welfare policy. Kindifarm provides a high level of animal welfare that goes beyond the 5 freedoms, and ensures our animals have an enjoyable and purposeful life. (http://www.companionanimalpsychology.com/2017/01/the-five-domains-model-aims-to-help.html) It is our belief that humans can learn empathy and create a better future, by spending time with animals.

The Five Freedoms of Animal Welfare state that domestic animals should live a life free from pain, injury and disease, free from discomfort, free from hunger and thirst, free from fear and distress, a life where they have the freedom to behave as they would in the wild.

1. Good nutrition: Appropriate consumption of nutritious foods as a pleasurable experience. Food and water is available at all times. Both at visits and at our farm. The piglet loves to make a mess when visiting, but we ensure food and water is given throughout the day.

2. Good environment: Enough space and variety of environment available so each animal has choices that ensure comfort. Rabbits and guinea pigs are handled in snuggle sacks on visits. This keeps them comfortable and feeling safe, with a place to hide at all times. It means they are only picked up by experienced Kindifarm handlers, and have their feet on a surface at all times. Animal interaction is supervised at all times. Animals are kept separated from children when they are not being held or hand fed. Shade is available on all visits. Shade, shelter, and comfortable resting areas are provided for all species at our farm.

At Kindifarm, animals live with their friends in safe enclosures suitable for their species. Our piglets enjoy a heated bed.

Safety: We are a mobile service. Our vehicles are custom designed to ensure safe and comfortable travel. Our staff’s driving is measured using telematics and staff often achieve a score of 100. This means no harsh braking, excessive acceleration or instances of speeding.

3. Good health: Our local specialist vet visits Kindifarm weekly to check on all our animals. Kindifarm animals are vaccinated and wormed as per the requirements for their species. Clinic facilities are available when they are required.

4. Appropriate behaviour: Animals are housed on our farm in groups with their own species. Each paddock and enclosure very adequately meets government regulations. Our sheep and goats come running to the farm gate every day when they see us. https://youtu.be/5bXl2MBi6Bc They enjoy children feeding them. They have a busy active life, with plenty of time to play and to rest.

5. Positive mental experiences: Kindifarm animals experience comfort, pleasure, interest and confidence. Our pen design allows the animals to retreat from children at any time. Behaviour is managed using positive reinforcement and food rewards. Watch our animals finishing a visit at a child care centre: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ES0NgZ4cMWI

These welfare standards are upheld by:

  • Our staff: who have animal care qualifications and are chosen for their love of animals and empathy (Rushen, Taylor, Passille 1999).
  • Our farm: designed to provide a safe, comfortable and interesting environment (Jordan, Luzi, Verga, Stuhec 2006).
  • Our pen design, lesson structure, and supervised human-animal interactions: which aim to ensure animals and humans enjoy their time together. Animals arrive at Kindifarm at a young age, which eliminates fear responses (Csatadi, Kustos, Eiben, Bilko, Altbacker 2005, Hemsworth, Barnett, 1992).  Our pen design offers 100% retreat from humans, proven to be most effective in eliminating stress (Anderson, Benne, Bloomsmith, Maple 2002).
  • Our license: Kindifarm is an approved Mobile Animal Exhibit under the Department of Primary Industries Exhibited Animals Protection Act 1986. We comply with all RSPCA requirements. Our consulting and visiting vet is Dr Andrew Miller. Our vet visits weekly ensuring all our animals are under vet care at all times.
  • Our ethics: Kindifarm does not breed animals. Annually we take on approximately 1000 male layer chicks, 12 bull dairy calves, and 60 feral or male dairy goats/lambs that would not live otherwise. All have an increased chance of a greater quality of life because of their time at Kindifarm.
  • Our training: Staff are trained in the applied science of positive reinforcement for interaction with children and animals. (https://positivepsychologyprogram.com/positive-reinforcement/)
  • Our commitment to education: teaching empathy, respect and appreciation for all life;  which is the purpose of Kindifarm (Kidd, A, Kidd, R, Zaslof, R 1995).
  • Our commitment to community: Kindifarm donates monthly visits to The Children’s Hospital at Westmead. These visits are a welcome break for the children. The smiles on their faces are priceless.

References

Anderson, Benne, Bloomsmith, Maple 2002, ‘Retreat space and human visitor density moderate undesirable behaviour in petting zoo animals’, Journal of Applied Animal Welfare Science, Vol. 5, no. 2, pp. 125-137.

Csatadi, Kustos, Eiben, Bilko, Altbacker 2005, ‘Even minimal human contact linked to nursing reduces fear responses toward humans in rabbits’, Applied Animal Behaviour Science, Vol. 95, pp. 123 – 128.

Hemsworth, Barnett, 1992, ‘The effects of early contact with humans on the subsequent level of fear of humans in pigs’, Applied Animal Behaviour Science, Vol. 35, pp. 83 – 90.

Jordan, Luzi, Verga, Stuhec 2006, ‘Environmental enrichment in growing rabbits’, Recent advances in Rabbit Sciences, pp. 113 – 119.

Kidd, A, Kidd, R, Zaslof, R 1995, ‘Developmental factors and positive attitudes towards zoo animals’, Psychological Reports, Vol. 76, pp. 71 – 81.

Rushen, Taylor, Passille 1999. ‘Domestic animals’ fear of humans and its effect on their welfare’, Applied Animal Behaviour Science, Vol. 65, no. 3, pp. 285 – 303.

Tilman, D.; Clark, M.; Williams, D.R.; Kimmel, K.; Polasky, S.; Packer, C. Future threats to biodiversity and pathways to their prevention. Nature 2017546, 73–81.

Download our study showing the positive  Effects of Increased Handling on Behaviour in rabbits.

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