The importance of children understanding their impact on animals
This World Animal Day (October 4th) leading animal welfare charities will come together to host a digital mass engagement event to immerse children in the world of animals.
The event is being hosted by the Pet Education Partnership (PEP), which includes the RSPCA, USPCA, SSPCA, Dogs Trust, PDSA, Blue Cross, Cats Protection and Woodgreen animal charities. The eight animal welfare organisations have come together to teach children aged seven to 11 about the needs of animals.
This comes after a recent survey revealed that 74% of people in the South East agree that the key benefit of teaching animal welfare in schools is to help pupils understand the impact their actions have on animals.
The launch event, World Animal Day & Me, will be held on October 4 and the main theme is sentience – showing that animals have emotions too. The RSPCA’s Kindness Index revealed that while 93% of people in the South East think dogs are sentient; 73% believe that rats are sentient which is higher than the national average (69%) and only 51% think lobsters are sentient.
Anna Herrieven, community engagement manager at RSPCA Mallydams Wood Education Centre, in Sussex, said: “The Pet Education Partnership shares the knowledge and expertise of the best animal welfare charities in the UK. Building understanding in children about the sentience and needs of animals is key to them becoming the responsible, knowledgeable and considerate pet owners that Britain needs. I would urge every educator in Sussex to sign up for World Animal Day and Me to find out how they can be part of this transformation into a true nation of animal lovers.”
Caroline Francoli, RSPCA information and education advisor, added: “Sadly even some adults don’t understand that animals are sentient creatures who feel emotions so it’s vitally important that we teach children this from a young age so that they can better understand how their actions impact animals.
“This is why we are so excited to be bringing this event to Key Stage Two children to help them gain an understanding of animal welfare and sentience. We believe this is the first and largest digital mass engagement event the RSPCA has ever hosted so it promises to be a landmark occasion.
“Talking about responsible pet ownership will be an essential part of World Animal Day & Me. We hope that by learning how to be a responsible owner to our beloved pets, we will improve the lives of those animals and promote a sense of wellbeing and happiness, teaching children valuable life skills for the future.”
The event is also being supported by RSPCA vice president, CBeebies presenter, children’s author and JLS star JB Gill, who is a big supporter of animal welfare and voices an informative video created by the partner charities.
PEP is now calling on all primary school teachers, parents and guardians of children aged seven to 11, to step into the fascinating world of animals and join the live, free and exclusive educational event. Anyone wishing to attend can choose from two sessions hosted on the day at either 11.15am or 1.45pm on Zoom.
It promises to be an immersive and engaging experience for children through the use of quizzes, polls, captivating presentations and stories of heartwarming encounters with furry, feathered and scaly friends, followed by a Q&A session.
The group has also created a hub for educational resources**, including lesson plans, videos and interactive elements. The long-term goal of the group is to have animal welfare taught on the curriculum in all UK schools, but in the meantime, all the resources created by the partnership are curriculum linked across all UK nations.
For more information about World Animal Day & Me, or to sign up to the event visit: www.eventbrite.co.uk