Make animal welfare a required curriculum during compulsory education!

On March 20, 2023, at the House of Councillors Budget Committee, Councilor Seiichi Kushida made a proposal regarding animal welfare education during the compulsory education period.

Councilor Seiichi Kushida proposed “Animal welfare education during the compulsory education period”, and not only for academic equity, free school lunch fees to ensure that all students can get the nutrition they need and to eliminate food inequalities. and he also proposed the adoption of soy meats made from soybeans for school lunches, which is also environmentally friendly. Using soy meat also promotes animal welfare. He also pointed out that some schools keep small animals such as rabbits, they may not be able to cope with climate change, or may not have appropriate methods for keeping them during school vacations.

In response, Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology Nagaoka stated that in compulsory education, it is important to learn the preciousness of all life, including that of animals. Currently, in the curriculum guidelines for elementary schools, the power of life that animals possess and the attitude of taking care of animals are taught through experiencing activities in the special subject of morality.

She also stated, through the educational activities, they will continue to promote initiatives to foster a spirit of respect for life, including animals. In this age of global digitization, it is more important to learn from real-life experiences.

The number of cases of violations of the Animal Protection Law, which has been on the increase due to heightened social awareness and the impact of the revised law that came into effect in June 1990 requiring veterinarians to report violations. 

The number of arrests in 2022 was 166 cases, according to the National Police Agency. (4 less than 2021)

According to Sankei Shimbun, the cases included 91 cats, 53 dogs, rabbits, hamsters, horses, and otters. By their type of situation, 74 cases were abandoned, 49 cases were abused, and 43 cases were killed. In addition, the number of animal and bird-related cases, including abuse, increased by 20 cases from the previous year to 592.

Sankei Shinbun also noted that the number of cases has been in the 500-600 range in recent years, including violations of the Protection of Birds and Wild Animals Act for keeping prohibited species of animals, and violations of the Species Preservation Act for buying and selling animals with restricted trade.

We must remember that these figures are only the arrests made.

Many of you are probably heartbroken by the recent incidents that have shifted the focus from indiscriminate cat killings to people or the breeding of more than 200 dogs under poor conditions. 

World Dog Alliance hopes that animal welfare/protection will become a required curriculum, rather than a special subject of morality, which tends to be cut during the compulsory education period, so that children will have more opportunities to learn about animal welfare from an early age, which will reduce crime in the future.