West Midlands schools join animal welfare project

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Nearly 100 schools in the West Midlands have signed on to a new programme that will teach students about compassion and animal welfare.

Compassionate Class is an RSPCA project that will supply teachers with comprehensive resources to teach a broad variety of animal-related issues, RSPCA press officer Emily Stott said. Students will learn about areas like farm animals and ethical sourcing of food; wildlife and how litter and pollution can harm wild animals; and animal heroes like bomb sniffing dogs and guide dogs. RSPCA wants children to understand animals’ needs, and how they’re not so different from human needs. Stott said:

“It’s about teaching children compassion, and teaching them to have awareness, be aware what animals need.”

Children in Compassionate Class

Photo provided by RSPCA

RSPCA fights against online abuse

Compassionate Class is part of RSPCA’s larger project, Generation Kind, which seeks to combat children’s increased exposure to animal abuse via social media. Nearly a quarter of school children aged 10-18 have witnessed animal abuse on social media, according to a survey conducted by Beautiful Insights on behalf of RSPCA.

“Obviously we don’t want that to become the norm,” Stott said.

RSPCA documented 400 incidents of animal cruelty on social media in the Midlands in 2017. The previous year recorded 434 in RSPCA data. There were 214 incidents in the first six months of 2018. The West Midlands accounts for almost half of the region’s incidents each year.

Schools have until 31 October to sign up to Compassionate Class, and the resources will be rolled out in November.

RSCPA’s goal is to have Compassionate Class reach 160,000 children per year, and 1.6 million children by 2030.

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