Education in the care and protection of animals is incorporated into primary education (royal decree 95/2022 of 1 february)

La educación en el cuidado y protección de los animales se incorpora a la enseñanza primaria (real decreto 95/2022, de 1 de febrero)

Author: Daniel Navarro Sánchez. Abogado, Máster en Derecho Animal y Sociedad. Investigador del ICALP y Doctorando en Derecho Animal.

On the 2nd of February 2022, Royal Decree 95/2022, of the 1st of February, was published in the BOE (Official State Gazette), establishing the organisation and minimum teachings of Pre-school Education. This publication follows the path set by Organic Law 3/2020, of 29 December, which modifies Organic Law 2/2006, of 3 May, on Education.

In this respect, the aforementioned Organic Law already included, among others, a reference that directly affected animals, specifically indicating the importance of "empathy and respect for living beings, especially animals".

Therefore, the Royal Decree published on 2 February brings with it modifications to the organization and minimum teaching standards for infant education that directly affect animals, highlighting the following: 

  1. "an active commitment to the values and practices of sustainability and the care and protection of animals will be encouraged", 
  2. "it is now particularly important to promote appreciation and appreciation of the diversity and richness of the natural environment, based on the discovery that people are also part of this environment and the affective link to it, two basic factors for initiating attitudes of respect, care and protection of the environment and animals, as well as the acquisition of eco-healthy and sustainable habits",
  3. "throughout the stage, they will adopt and incorporate into their daily routines habits for sustainable development, such as responsible consumption or the care and protection of nature and the animals that inhabit it".
  4. Similarly, as an assessment criterion for the first cycle, it is established that "they will be interested in activities in contact with nature and the characteristics of the natural elements of the environment, showing respect for them and for the animals that inhabit it". Including an express reference to "respect for nature, living beings and animal rights".
  5. There is also an explicit reference to "empathy, care and protection of animals. Respect for their rights".

It can be seen, hence, that the recently published educational standards are beginning to make a firm commitment to education in respect for animal rights, and this is essential given that education is one of the crucial elements in the changes in society; we cannot expect major changes to take place if we do not have well-educated people. 

In this sense, the future and the change in values are not achieved only with protective rules, but with education and training from the early stages of people's academic life. Norms can be subject to the superfluous volatility of ideology; however, only the knowledge and maturity of societies allow the rights that are generated to take root.

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