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Animal Abuse Education ?

Animals at Elementary Schools: Form of Small Animal Abuse

ALIVE News No.88 2009 / 09-10

By Fusako Nogami

Kindergartens and elementary schools in Japan keep small animals, such as rabbits and chickens. However the truce of its care condition is not known. The information that was provided to ALIVE by PTA members and teachers shows that the caretaking conditions of school animals are very poor, and it could be a form of animal abuse.

Since 1997, ALIVE has worked on the school animal issues in Japan.

1997: There was a series of school animal killing cases.

1997: ALIVE conducted a survey, Care Condition of Rabbits at Elementary Schools.

1998: ALIVE submitted the survey result to Ministry of Education Science and Culture with a letter urging to implement animal caretaking education for teachers and school staff.

1998: Several media covered the result of the ALIVE Care Condition of Rabbit survey.

1999: Act on Welfare and Management of Animals was amended. Penalty on animal abuse was reinforced.

2005: Act on Welfare and Management of Animals was amended again. This amended act regulates animal handling businesses, however it does not regulate school animals and animals that are kept at local governments.

Today: The care conditions of school animals have not improved at all. In fact, the negligent and irresponsible attitudes toward school animal care have still remained the same as before the Animal Welfare Act was amended.

The Problems of School Animals:

1. No Funds to Take Care of Animals.
50% of the schools that keep animals do not have a budget to feed animals.

2. No Systems to Take Care of Animals during Weekends and School Vacations.
Most of the school responded that before weekends, they give more food and water than usual. The problem is during long vacations such as summer or winter vacations.

3. No Supervisions.
Some schools said that there is not anyone who is responsible for caring the animals at their schools. There is no system for taking care of school animals.

4. Animal Abuse Education.
There was a school that had too many rabbits once. They did not know what to do with the rabbits. The teachers at the school had a meeting and decided to “dump the rabbits in mountains.”
Schools and teachers are supposed to be role models for children. However in this school’s case, they showed the students a form of animal abuse. It is obvious that the teachers did not have adequate knowledge and interests in taking care of animals.

ALIVE is against school animals. Schools are not places to keep animals. They do not have systems and resources for it, so it is impossible to keep animals.


Small animals as classroom pets