Animal doctor: end the keeping of animals in schools | Lifestyles

To ensure safe encounters with animals, parents and teachers should provide children with knowledge of local species that can be dangerous. Make sure they know that many animals have “flying distance” – in other words, an invisible circle around them that, if you enter, they will likely flee. Even closer to an animal is the “critical distance,” where they can attack, or freeze, and play dead like a possum.

How wonderful it can be when wild animals trust us, like the fish with your son! He undoubtedly grew from that fellowship into a more respectful and compassionate adult than those who denied such experiences and parental example. Read on for more thoughts on the role of animals in raising children.

Dear readers: Various animal species are still kept in cages and aquariums in schools across the country – a culturally tolerated practice that calls for ethical review. It also raises health concerns, according to the CDC’s post titled “Animals in Schools and Daycares” (visit cdc.gov/healthypets/specific-groups/schools.html).

In a section on preventing the spread of germs in classrooms, the CDC states, “Do not bring reptiles, amphibians, poultry, rodents or ferrets into schools, daycares or other establishments with children under 5 years old.

In 2019, the American Humane Association, the Human-Animal Bond Research Institute and the Pet Care Trust published their “Pets in the Classroom” study. The results of the study suggest that the use of pets in American third and fourth graders appears to have significant benefits for children’s social, behavioral, and academic development.

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