The BC SPCA opposes the keeping of all exotic or wild animals as classroom pets.
The BC SPCA condones the keeping of domesticated animals in schools only when all of the following conditions are met:
- the animal is not permitted to breed;
- inclusion of an animal in classroom activities is contingent upon the teacher of that class already being that animal’s guardian;
- the animal is kept in order to contribute to a structured humane education curriculum;
- the animal is not a nocturnal species (and accordingly has a sleep pattern that is compatible with the school day);
- the teacher and, when necessary, a second adult caregiver take sole responsibility for the care and welfare of the animal. This includes care over the weekend, holidays and school breaks;
- the caregivers thoroughly research the animal’s nutritional, social and environmental needs prior to acquiring it;
- the animal’s Five Freedoms are ensured at all times;
- the animal has access to regular and emergency veterinary care;
- the animal is handled only when the following criteria are met:
- when it does not endanger or adversely stress the animal;
- when the animal is handled according to species-specific handling instructions;
- when handling the animal is directly related to the curriculum being taught; and
- when the handling is supervised by an experienced teacher or adult caregiver.
Approved by the Board of Directors – February 2009