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New programme teaches kids animal welfare

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 6/07/2016

School children will gain valuable insights into looking after pets as the SPCA launches a programme to help reduce animal abuse.

In an effort to combat the country's high levels of abuse, the organisation is running a free, nationwide education programme in primary and intermediate schools.

It aims to foster understanding, compassion and respect towards animals, including responsible behaviour and pet ownership, the SPCA says.

Chief scientific officer Dr Arnja Dale said it was one of the most important steps the SPCA had taken in its 127-year history.

"Each year the SPCA cares for around 60,000 animals that have been lost, abandoned, injured, or abused," she said.

"We recognised the need to do something that will have a real impact on bringing this number down by educating the next generation of animal owners."

The launch follows a pilot programme in 22 Auckland schools, with results showing a strong shift in students' knowledge, understanding and attitudes about animal welfare.

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