Start your research...

There are a total of 10 briefings for schools taking part in RSPCA's Animal Welfare: The Great Debate, providing a starting point for the research you will need to do into the subject, to ensure your team are ready for the debate!

Use the links below to download briefings for different topics:

(These documents are also available in Welsh language. Please see our Wales Briefings)

NHS for Animals

Currently pet owners either have to pay the cost of treatment or pay for pet insurance to cover the costs. Some people think that an NHS for Animals should be set up to give treatment for free at the point that the animal needs it.

Research the possibility of an NHS for Animals (PDF 214KB)


Training collars for dogs (e-collars)

E-collars are primarily used to stop unwanted behaviour by delivering an electrical stimulus.

Research the issues around pet owners being allowed to use e-collars (PDF 214KB) 


Penalties for animal cruelty

Currently the maximum penalty for people convicted of animal cruelty offences under the Animal Welfare Act 2006 is six months in prison and an unlimited fine. Offenders can also be banned from keeping animals.

Research the considerations for increasing penalties for animal cruelty (PDF 214KB)

Animals being used in service

Many animals are used in a variety of ways to help humans. These animals go through rigorous selection, training and testing over many months and years to ensure they can do their job.

Research the arguments for and against animals being used in service (PDF 214KB)


Keeping primates as pets

In the UK if you want to keep certain types of primates you have to have a licence under the Dangerous Wild Animals Act 1976. however there are primates that can be kept and bred without a licence.

Research the issues around keeping primates as pets (PDF 214KB)


Is Brexit good for animal welfare?

The UK voted to leave the European Union (EU) in a referendum in 2016. From 29 March 2019, the UK will no longer be a member. This means the EU law which currently covers lots of key areas will no longer apply in the UK. A lot of law relating to animal welfare is made by the EU. We will now have to make our own choices to replace it and whether we strengthen our standards, weaken them or leave them as they are.

Research whether Brexit is good for animal welfare (PDF 215KB)


Animals in housing

When living in rented accomodation, tenants have to abide by the rules set by their landlord and in many cases the landlord does not allow them to have pets.

Explore the pros and cons of  landlords allowing pets in homes (PDF 213KB)


Animal Welfare in education

some people and organisations think that animal welfare should be taught in schools. Other people think that animal welfare should be taught at home and schools should be prioritising subjects as maths and science.

Look at the arguments for and against animal welfare being taught in schools (PDF 213KB)


Hunting with dogs

The UK Parliament passed the Hunting Act in 2004 which banned the use of hunting with dogs across England and Wales. The Act has been controversial with many people both for and against the ban being in place.

Research the arguments for and against keeping the ban on hunting with dogs (PDF 213KB)


Breed Specific Legislation

Breed Specific Legislation (BSL) was introduced 27 years ago as part of the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991 to restrict the ownership of certain types of dogs which are deemed to be dangerous to people.

Explore the issues surrounding BSL and the arguments for and against repealing it (PDF 213 KB)