Teaching animal welfare to children to prevent violence

Carlos Chacón, WSPA Education Manager for Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean, met Jerry López and his pet “Chiquis Perris”. Jerry’s aggressiveness and his aversion to animals changed with the animal welfare classes given in his kindergarden.

Carlos Chacón, WSPA Education Manager for Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean, met Jerry López and his pet “Chiquis Perris”. Jerry’s aggressiveness and his aversion to animals changed with the animal welfare classes given in his kindergarden.

Over ten years of successful joint work between WSPA and the State of Puebla in Mexico has led to the launch of a new education project, which aims to reduce violence by teaching respect for the life of animals.

More than 27,000 boys and girls will enjoy basic concepts about animal welfare thanks to an agreement between WSPA, the State of Puebla, and the Mexican non-governmental organization, Dejando Huella.

“I’m convinced that for a country to evolve and improve you have to invest in education (…) if we instill a respect for animals and all forms of life in children at that age, it’s a sure bet that tomorrow they’ll grow up without violence, as children who learn to appreciate what nature gives them and live alongside others in a better way.”said Martha Érika Alonso de Moreno Valle, First Lady of the State of Puebla.

More than 430 community childcare centres benefited from the project, created for children aged three to six years old from backgrounds vulnerable to poverty, school absence, malnutrition and violence.

The project is very much based around the entire family and teachers work with the help of parents and relatives. WSPA, and local NGO Dejando Huella trained 1,021 pre-school teachers in the methodology to incorporate animal welfare into day to day lessons, achieving change for the people and animals in the community:

The project also provided sessions with the Puebla Secretariat of Health for dogs and cats to advise families on how to keep their pets healthy.

“Family integration and response is the main thing. If we have protected animals attended by veterinarians, the health of families is also going to improve”, stated Juan Manuel Balderas, the Puebla State Health Secretariat’s Zoonosis Coordinator.

“We’ve seen that the programme not only generates a change in the mentality of the children and their parents, but also leads to better living conditions for the animals”, added Carlos Chacón, WSPA Education Manager for Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean.

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