A petition is urging the Department of Education to include animal welfare in the National Curriculum, in a bid to tackle the growing problem of animal abuse and neglect.
The petition on Change.org has so far received over 2,000 signatures.
Louise Craggs, who launched it, says she works in a veterinary environment and has met children who believe that animals cannot feel pain, or who hate cats and other species to the extent that they think it is acceptable to harm them.
While many circulating petitions are calling for tougher sentences on animal cruelty, Louise writes on Change.org: 'Things are not changing'.
She is calling for animal welfare to be incorporated into the National Curriculum, to better educate children on how to care for animals.
'I believe that if we educate children from an early age how to treat animals and how important it is to care for their environment, then in years to come we will hopefully see a decline in animal cruelty and neglect.
'I think that introducing these issues as an actual part of the curriculum is necessary, not just a mention during another subject.'
To sign the petition, visit: https://www.change.org/p/department-of-education-teach-children-the-importance-of-animal-welfare-as-part-of-school-curriculum