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25 November 1999
A new guide on how to care for animals in the classroom has been launched.
Attitudes towards animals are formed early in life. For many, school may be the place
where experience on how to handle and look after animals is gained, and provides
opportunities for detailed observation of animal behaviour and growth.
The guide, "Caring for Animals – A Guide for Teachers, Early Childhood
Educators, and Students", explains the proper care of axolotls, goldfish,
terrapins, birds, guinea pigs, rabbits, rats, mice, and other animals.
It replaces the 1981 former Department of Education publication, "Keeping Small
Animals in the Classroom". Recent legislative changes have placed new restrictions on
the use of animals in schools and early childhood centres. The Animals Protection (Codes
of Ethical Conduct) Regulations 1987 have been superseded by the Animal Welfare Act 1999,
and the 'duty of care' for animals is a paramount feature of the new
The new guide explains both the ethical and legal obligations for boards of trustees,
teachers, early childhood educators, and students, whether they are observing or studying
the animal. It also outlines the needs of various invertebrates and vertebrates to ensure
they remain healthy and well cared for.
Contributors to the guide include the Ministry of Education, the Ministry of
Agriculture and Forestry, the Animals in Schools Education Trust (a charitable trust set
up by the New Zealand Veterinary Association), and the Australian and New Zealand Council
for the Care of Animals in Research and Teaching (ANZCCART).
This publication is available at a cost of $8.95 per copy.
For further information or to order a copy please contact: Learning Media Ltd, P O
Box 3293, WELLINGTON. Tel: 0800 800 565 or Fax: 0800 800 570