SPCA New Zealand
Advice & welfare

Animal Welfare Education

Animals in Research, Testing and Teaching

SPCA advocates for all children in primary and secondary education to receive specific comprehensive animal welfare education. Children taught from an early age to consider the welfare of animals are more likely to grow up with empathy and respect for all living beings, including other people.

Recognising and treating animals as sentient beings by providing them with a “good life” is essential for the development of empathy. Developing empathy (particularly for animals) is an important foundation for creating an ethical, compassionate, and humane society.

Our organisation advocates that preventing cruelty and promoting kindness towards animals can be achieved through both formal and informal educational activities. Our organisation advocates for the inclusion of animal welfare in school curriculum as a compulsory subject. Activities should be promoted and supported from central government and teaching bodies using material approved by SPCA and other animal welfare organisations.

SPCA opposes the use of animals for education where pain or distress is likely to be caused. Additionally, SPCA opposes the use of animals in education if their behavioural, health, and social needs cannot be met. This includes providing an environment with housing that promotes natural behaviours, appropriate social opportunities, routine veterinary care, proper nutrition, and exercise.

(See Keeping Animals in Schools for more information)

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