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Last Updated: Saturday May 31 2008 11:18 GMT

RSPCA says 'no' to class pets

A rabbit

How would you feel if your class pet was swapped for a cuddly toy?

The RSPCA animal charity wants schools to stop keeping pets in class, because they say it can be cruel.

They're worried that classrooms are too noisy and animals can get scared if they're passed round too much or have too many people trying to cuddle them.

Instead, it says there are loads of other ways to teach you how to look after animals, including using stuffed toys or taking you on trips to farms.

An RSPCA spokesman said animals were often kept in unsuitable conditions in class and could even get a bit lonely.

If you do have a class pet, he said it should have lots of time away from the noise of the classroom, and only one person who's responsible for looking after it when the school's closed.

"The responsibility of caring for a pet does not end when the school day is over, but continues during evenings, weekends and holidays," he added.