SPCA New Zealand
Advice & welfare

Keeping Animals in School Classrooms

Animals in Research, Testing and Teaching

SPCA only supports the keeping of animals for research, testing, and teaching in ways that protect the animals’ behavioural, health, and social needs.

SPCA supports the societal benefits of positive animal and human interaction. If animals are to be kept in schools, proper provision should be made for their physical, health, and behavioural needs. This includes having a specifically named and appropriately experienced person who is responsible at all times for the welfare and husbandry of the animals, and who ensures that a suitable environment is provided which satisfies the animal’s physical, health, and behavioural needs. To promote the physical and psychological health of any animal kept in school classrooms, an enrichment program must be implemented and monitored to ensure the animal’s species-specific and individual needs are met. The animal species selected should have a circadian rhythm that is compatible with the school day. Animals must be given adequate “rest” periods away from disturbance, and contact between students and animals must be supervised and controlled by someone competent and knowledgeable about the animal. In addition, provision must be made for suitable housing, husbandry, and veterinary care at all times including term time, weekends and during holidays.

SPCA does not believe that an animal's welfare needs can be met in school classrooms.

Busy and noisy school environments can have negative impacts on the welfare of wild or domesticated animals, particularly as the welfare of the animals cannot be ensured at all times due to the proximity of many different people. Our organisation supports the teaching of animal behaviour, welfare,and reproduction cycles in schools without the need to keep captive animals.

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