May 6th, 2017
The Green Party and the Irish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals have called on the Government to introduce an animal welfare program into primary school education.
Both groups believe that this will help reduce the number of cases of cruelty and neglect. In 2016 alone, 16,000 calls were made to the National Animal Cruelty Helpline resulting in 3,200 investigations.
Almost 1,000 animals were seized or surrendered and 32 prosecutions brought under the Animal Health and Welfare Act 2013.
Education is the key to improving animal welfare and ensuring responsible pet ownership into the future, said Dr Andrew Kelly, the Chief Executive of ISPCA.
“The vast majority of animal welfare cases were due to ignorance and neglect,” he said.
“This is where improved animal welfare education can play an import role in cutting those numbers. A simple measure like this could improve the welfare of tens of thousands of animals in the future.”
Green Party Deputy Leader, Catherine Martin TD, said that her party was “delighted” to support the call for a nationwide launch in all primary schools.
“The welfare of animals is an important aspect of our society,” said Ms Martin, a member of the Oireachtas Education Committee. “If we can educate our children from an early age how best to look after their pets, then we are teaching them some important moral values.”
The ISPCA has also launched a petition, with further information available here.