Hatching a problem

Posted on the 17th March 2017

Animal Aid's new Education resource highlights the problems with hatching projects in primary school.

Last year, Neil Winn-Williams from Foal Farm Animal Rescue Centre (in Kent) approached us and asked whether we had any information on hatching projects in primary schools. He said that the schemes, using live animals, ‘have become a major problem’. Foal Farm, he said, now gets many calls to take in chicks and ducklings that have been reared in a classroom and are no longer needed.

A widespread problem

We decided to contact some other sanctuaries to find out how widespread the problem is. Of the 17 we approached, 15 said that they are now regularly approached to offer homes for birds from hatching projects. Many agreed that it is a real challenge, overstretching already limited resources.

As a classroom activity, these hatching projects are undeniably popular with teachers and primary school pupils, but one wonders how many of them have thought through the consequences in terms of the educational outcomes for the children, the welfare of the animals and the impact on local animal sanctuaries?

In September we will be mailing the factsheet to all UK primary schools but in the meantime if you know of any schools that are taking part in hatching projects, or who are considering doing so, please inform Animal Aid and also ask the teacher to consider the possible consequences.

You can order or download the new factsheet ‘Hatching projects in Primary Schools’ here.

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