SSPCA teach pupils animal welfare skills

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The Scottish SPCA, Scotland’s animal welfare charity and the University of Edinburgh have released research demonstrating the positive impact of Animal Welfare Education for children.

Scotland’s animal welfare charity speaks to around 300,000 children a year through their free ‘Prevention through Education’ programme and in the last five years they’ve seen a 382% increase in the number of calls to their animal helpline from children reporting injured wildlife or cases of neglect.

In the Borders alone, over 6,200 children benefited from the free education service, with the charity visiting 54 primary schools in 2016.

Gilly Mendes Ferreira, head of education and policy at the Scottish SPCA said: “Research has shown a clear increase in children’s knowledge about animal welfare following participation in our workshops.

“Our interactive programme encourages children to think about what animals need and they learn how they can be responsible towards animals they come across including pet, farm or wild animals. This is further evidence that the subject of animal welfare has a valuable role to play in the school curriculum.”

Dr Jo Williams, senior lecturer in clinical and health psychology said: “Enhancing children’s knowledge of animal welfare and promoting compassion towards animals but might also increase compassion to other people.”