Posted: Tue 28th Jun 2016

Students Impress At RSPCA Cymru Animal Welfare Debate

news.wales / newyddion.cymru
This article is old - Published: Tuesday, Jun 28th, 2016

Schoolchildren from five schools across South Wales have taken part in a lively and engaging discussion on animal welfare. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

RSPCA Cymru held its annual school debating event at Siambr Hywel in the National Assembly for Wales on Friday (24 June). ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

The event – ‘Animal Welfare: The Great Debate’ – involved students from Cymer Afan Comprehensive (Neath Port Talbot), Howell’s School (Cardiff), St Julian’s School (Newport), Bryn Hafren Comprehensive School (Vale of Glamorgan) and Ysgol Gyfun Gymraeg Bryn Tawe (Swansea). ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Pupils debated the question – ‘whose responsibility is animal welfare?’; weighing up the various responsibilities of the different agencies involved – namely Welsh Government, local authorities, RSPCA, vets, police and the public. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Students from each school also acted as Media Officers during the day by taking photos and live tweeting during the event using the hashtag #GreatDebate2016. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

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Following the debate, a ‘Question Time’ style session took place with panellists representing organisations playing a role in ensuring the welfare of Wales’ pets, farm animals and wildlife who answered questions from school pupils. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

The panel included RSPCA Cymru superintendent Martyn Hubbard, Head of Animal Welfare at Welsh Government Irene Allen, President of British Veterinary Association Welsh Branch Neil Patton, Police & Crime Commissioner for South Wales Police Alun Michael, Regulatory & Frontline Services Policy Officer for the Welsh Local Government Association Simon Wilkinson, and Chris O’Brien who spoke on behalf of the public. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

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RSPCA’s head of education, David Allen – who chaired the event – said it was a fantastic day. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

“We thoroughly enjoyed meeting the students and hearing their debates for and against,” he said. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

“We were impressed with all their contributions, the amount of research they had put in and their timekeeping on the day. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

“We would like to say a big thank to everyone involved, all the schools and students for their hard work, the panel and everyone who helped to bring together this event. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

“At the RSPCA our aim is to develop informed, responsible and compassionate citizens of the future, and this event was a very positive educational experience. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

“We are already looking forward to doing it all again next year!” ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Each student who took part received a certificate for their involvement and four special awards were presented by breakfast presenter for Capital FM South Wales Matt Lissack. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

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An award for Future Campaigner was given to students Grace James and Ffion Gould from Bryn Tawe and the Future Politician award was presented to Farren Pitcock from Bryn Hafren. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

The Future Journalist award was presented to student Media Officer Nathan Blackmore- ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

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The Animal Welfare Champion award, for the overall best student on the day, was presented to Poppy Smith from St Julians. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Matt said: “It was wonderful to present these awards to the students who shone on the day, but all the students did an amazing job and I’m sure they had a lot of fun as well as learn lots about animal welfare.” ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​



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