Policies, Regulations Forms and Bylaws

1810-10 | Animals in Schools Regulation

Date Approved: May 10 2017
Date Reviewed/Amended:

1.  If an animal is to be brought into a school, its inclusion must be relevant and integral to meeting learning goals.

2.  The school principal must grant permission prior to the introduction of any live animal to a school.

3.  If approved, the school must take reasonable steps to ensure, before an animal is brought in, that:

  • students and school personnel are not affected by allergies due to its presence;
  • potential health risks posed by animal disease or parasite has been considered and mitigated. Determining this information may require an examination by a veterinarian;
  • the inclusion of the animal will not present an unreasonable level of physical danger; and
  • students and relevant staff will be suitably knowledgeable in the proper care and handling of the animal in order to provide hygienic conditions for the animal and for the staff and students.

4.  The care of the animal, including any costs incurred, is the responsibility of the school. Normally a teacher who has arranged for the animals presence in the school is responsible.

5.  Animals cannot be allowed to roam freely in the school.

6.  Provisions for non-instructional days must be made. These provisions must include a plan to address unplanned school closures.

7.  The suitability of a classroom as an appropriate living space for an animal must be determined with respect to:

  • the physical needs of an animal, including but not limited to room temperature, light requirements, sleeping/waking patterns, size of living space, response to confinement, and noise level;
  • the life expectancy of an animal. There must be a care plan in place that takes into account the animal’s needs through its normal life expectancy. This plan may include an eventual transition step in which the school is no longer the custodian of the animal;
  • the habitat of the animal, including the creation and maintenance of an appropriate habitat, in accordance with BC SPCA recommendations; and
  • emergency power, including the availability of at least one alternative power source where electricity is required to maintain a suitable habitat.

8.  Animals in the classroom must be considered when planning for evacuation for fire, earthquake, and other emergencies.

9.  In accordance with the BC Wildlife Act, a permit* is required before any native (and some non-native local) species can be kept in the classroom.

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