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Last Updated: Wednesday June 04 2008 13:51 GMT

Should class pets be banned?

A guinea pig and goldfish

The RSPCA wants schools to stop keeping class pets as it says it's not fair on the animals.

The charity says classrooms can be scary for pets and there are other ways to teach you how to treat animals.

But what do you think? Have you ever had a class pet? Are they a good idea or too much hassle?

Are there any animals you think WOULD make good class pets, or do you think it's wrong to keep any animal in school?

Maybe your school's come up with an alternative to keeping pets, like a wildlife area or organising trips to farms?

Whatever it is, let us know!

Unfortunately this topic is now closed but there are Comments pages on other subjects on the main Chat index.

Your comments

"I think it's ok to have class pets as long as they are carefully handled and in the right environment."

Chloe, 11, Surrey, England

"I think you should keep class pets because if you've finished all your work then it is something to do."

Kira, 10, East Lothian, Scotland

"I think they should be allowed to have a pet. I have a pet at my house and she doesn't mind the noise."

Megan, 9, Spain

"I think that people should not keep pets in classrooms. They don't get their exercise and get ill."

Paul, 12, Kent, England

"I think school pets shouldn't be allowed, as they can carry diseases and spread them around the school."

Freya, 9, West Sussex, England

"I think pets should be allowed in classrooms as long as they are only handled by the teacher."

Rory, 9, Dorset, England

"I don't think that pets should be kept in classrooms, because they need space to run around like a garden."

Bethan, 12, Swansea, Wales

"I think it's cruel because it will get to used to all the attention and will be lonely when you leave it all alone!"

Kayleigh, 10, Middleton, England

"I don't think class pets should be banned but I don't think they should be in classrooms. At my school we have a courtyard and that's where our pets are."

Tegan, 10, Aldershot, England

"Well I think it is a brilliant idea to keep pets because the children will stay happier while getting taught."

Misha, 12, Leytonstone, England

"I think it is cruel because it will be too loud for the animals."

Betty, 11, Woking, England

"It's not cruel if people take turns to care for it. Children can learn how to take care of animals."

Rhys, 10, Cardiff, Wales

"It should depend on how responsible the class is at remembering to feed it and stuff."

Kirstie, 11, Leeds, England

"No I don't think class pets should be banned because if they have so much care and love they will be kept clean and well looked after. I wish my class could have a guinea pig or a fish at least."

Louise, 10, Preston, England

"Pets shouldn't be in classrooms because some people are allergic to them."

Georgia, 11, Newcastle, England

"I think they shouldn't be banned. They help young children learn how to look after pets. It makes young children more responsible."

Ryan, 12, County Down, Northern Ireland

"I think they're wrong. We have rats and everyone loves them - they're part of the class now!!"

Freya, 11, Surrey, England

"My school doesn't have any class pets and I think that's good. I know most people in my form would love a class pet though."

Laura, 12, Clwyd, Wales

"I think that's wrong. I love our pets. We have rats and everyone loves them, they're part of the class now!!"

Freya, 11, Mitcham, England

"I think the RSPCA are right because if you have a guinea pig children might poke or hurt the poor animal! The children should be taught how to treat them first!"

Oliver, 8, Northampton, England

"We have some fish in my school class room and we care for them and take turns in feeding them. We like watching them as it calms us down. But if it was something you pet, I agree that is not very fair on the poor animals. "

Zara, 11, Huddersfield, England

"I think it's cruel to put class pets in noisy environments."

Becky, 13, Rotherham, England

"At my last school, the school pets were outside the classrooms and people took them home at the weekends."

Tabitha, 9, Milton Keynes, England

"I think they should be banned because it's cruel to keep them in schools when there is no-one there at night."

Savannah, 10, Ballymena, Northern Ireland

"No because it helps teach children about how to keep pets and if the teacher shows them how to look after the pet, there isn't a problem."

Sarah, 10, Manchester, England

"Yes you should be allowed pets in the classroom because it makes it so that if you don't have a pet at home, you have got one at school."

Jack, 9, Gratham, England

"I think that keeping class pets is kind of cruel. You could always keep class pets outside on a field with a hutch and a run."

Em, 10, Liverpool, England

"I think that keeping a class pet can be fun, but I don't think it would be fun for the pet to be crowded all the time."

Lizzie, 9, Sevenoaks, England

"I think it's good for the younger children because it helps them take responsibility."

Alexandra, 9, Aylesbury, England

"I love animals and having them in schools is a great way for children to learn how to handle them if they don't have a pet at home. Though I do admit a goldfish is not a very exciting pet!!"

Esther, 12, Wimbledon, England

"It is unfair for the poor animals to be kept inside all day in tiny cages. They should have lots more space and not be stared at and poked by students all day."

Lara, 11, London, England

"Yes, it might distract the children from their work."

Alex, 9, Birmingham, England

"We should have an animal room where we keep all the animals at school. That way it will be fair on the animals and it will make children happy!!"

Rihanna, 11, Birmingham, England

"I think it's good having class pets because we can learn how to treat them. If we didn't rescue them then they wouldn't have a home."

Sophie, 9, Isle of Wight, England

"Yes I think it's cruel to keep animals in a hot and stuffy place."

Beca, 10, Cardiff, Wales

"We don't have class pets but we do have an animal section. We have two guinea pigs and five new baby chicks, which look so funny when they walk. We get to look at them in break and lunch."

Frankie, 10, Berkshire, England

"I agree! Pets SHOULD be banned from classrooms because of all the noise. We don't have a class pet and I'm glad about that. Sure, I don't see the problem with fish, but all the other animals should be banned."

Rachel, 11, Stirlingshire, Scotland

"I don't think class pets should be banned because they are a good way of getting children to take responsibility. They are cute!!"

Hazel, 11, Northampton, England

"Class pets should not be banned because it's the RSPCA that wants to ban them, not the kids."

Cameron, 8, Bradford, England

"Keeping a class pet is a bad idea because they don't get good exercise and they don't get played with."

Tom, 11, Plymouth, England

"I think we shouldn't have class pets because people get distracted by the animals and don't learn things that might be important."

Alix, 8, Hong Kong, China

"Yes, pets should be banned in school. They are really off-putting and when we had one everyone just watched it all day long."

Nathan, 9, Loughborough, England

"I think that class pets should be kept because they can be educational. Maybe it would help if the teachers took them home, then they will be looked after properly."

Laura, 10, Rochdale, England

"At my school we don't have class pets. I would really love to have one because i don't think its cruel if it gets the right kind of attention. Classrooms aren't supposed to be noisy anyway!"

Elise, 12, Bexleyheath, England

"I think the teachers should take the animal home every two weeks so they get to run around for a while."

Daisy, 8, Edinburgh, Scotland

"If they think cuddling is a problem, why not have fish? What's the problem with fish?"

Sophie, 9, Lincoln, England

"Yes, class pets are educational, but it's cruel to keep them. I'm sure they don't want loads of kids picking them up and making them feel unsettled. How would you feel if that happened to you?"

Maria, 13, Bradford, England

"I think you should really study the animals. Even though you keep them at home you can take them to the vet anytime. When an animal lives in a classroom, you don't get much time to check up on it. And with animals like snakes and spiders I think the owners should go on a course to know what to do with it, so I would say no to classroom pets."

Shona, 11, Mid Glamorgan, Wales

"I think it's a good idea because children like to be given a bit of responsibility and children who don't have a pet at home will like the idea of looking after it for the weekend."

Eleanor, 10, Knutsford, England

"I don't think classes should have pets. When I was in Year 1 we had a hamster and he was rather vicious. Then a boy dropped him and he ran away. A goldfish would be a better option!"

Enya, 11, Winchester, England

"I think they should, because it wrong. In the summer it's hot and the animals can die in the heat. Also, animals should have fresh air. If they are in a classroom they are not getting any fresh air."

Jasmine, 12, Telford, England

"I think class pets should only be kept in classrooms that have nice and quiet children, not noisy people that might scare the pet."

Rebecca, 11, Morayshire, Scotland

"Class pets teach responsibility and are fun at the same time."

Elizabeth, 8, Bradford, England

"At my school, we have pets and they are treated fairly. The rabbit is almost always outside, so I think the class pets should stay."

Lucy, 11, Somerset, England

"I think pets should be banned from school because many children in the class poke and prod the animals. This is not a very good life for the animal. It would be better if a pet just visited the class for a morning, occasionally."

Chloe, 11, Powys, Wales

"It teaches children not to be scared of animals if they see them everyday."

Safia, 11, London, England

"Having school pets has its ups and downs. The RSPCA has a point that having class pets can be unfair on an animals with noise, being handled wrongly, not being fed the right stuff etc. However, having class pets will teach kids responsibility and to learn to love and respect animals. This can only be done though if the teacher knows what s/he is doing. To solve this problem, all teachers who have a pet in their class should be trained accordingly and have an inspector come in and check that the class are doing a good job."

Annie, 11, Billingshurst, England

"It could be cruel, because younger children could be rough with any sort of class pet."

Kate, 10, London, England

"I know classrooms are noisy, but we could easily put them outside in the spring or summer."

Peter, 10, Cornwall, England

"I think its unfair for animals like fish, guinea pigs, rabbits, gerbils and hamsters to be in a noisy environment like a classroom. I think that class pets should be banned!!!"

Fern, 11, Cellardyke, Scotland

"Pets are for home not for school, because people at home have the right care and find it easier than a whole class."

Olivia, 8, Burwell, England

"In my school we have two class pets - Monty the snake and Tinkerbell the spider. I think it is OK having animals like snakes or spiders, because all they do all day is sleep. They are kept in a big glass case with leaves and logs. I don't think it is a good idea to have rabbits or hamsters. I think only older kids should have them because if they die they will be upset and won't understand. I don't think kids should feed them, leave it to an adult!!!!"

Sadie, 12, Bristol, England

"I think classes should have class pets only if they can look after them. It's a big commitment."

Lauren, 10, East Barnet, England

"We've never had class pets at school, we have plants instead! I don't think it's fair on the animals because they will never have a proper owner and might get stressed from the noise. And who would take care of them if they got ill?"

Amie, 12, Birmingham, England

"I think that pets should be banned. Our class used to have three gerbils, but they died because of the stress they were put through from the noise, and most of the class didn't know how to act around them!"

Tiffany, 11, Lutterworth, England

"I think having classroom pets are good and bad. My good point is that it can help you through your work if you're studying sea animals or other animals. My bad point is that people don't look after them and some animals get affected by the atmosphere around them."

Shanice, 9, Croydon, Jamaica

"I think they shouldn't be banned because they help teach kids responsibility."

Charlotte, 12, Altengstett, Germany

"I used to have a class pet and we looked after him fine. He loved all the attention and was very happy. As long as they get enough attention it is fine."

Gemma, 12, Surrey, England

"No, they shouldn't be banned as they teach children the responsibility of a pet!"

Jack, 12, Leicester, England

"I think it is mad, because then you won't be able to play with them and if it was a fluffy toy you wouldn't be able to learn about them that well."

Grace, 9, Bristol, England

"I think it is a good idea to have class pets because when I'm angry it helps me to calm down."

Aaron, 8, Newcastle, England

"I think that it is a bad idea to keep pets in the classroom, because when I had some tadpoles in a class a child overfed them and they died the next day, so we couldn't finish our project."

Iman, 11, Battersea, England

"No, because the pets being there will teach children about them, and they will know how to care for that pet."

Charlotte, 13, Saltash, England

"I think class pets should be banned because it puts you off from learning and doing your homework when you take it home at the weekend!"

Ellie, 12, Bognor Regis, England

"Having class pets teaches us responsibility and shows us exactly how much love, caring and attention animals need. It also makes us aware of how much time is involved in looking after them. "

Kyle, 9, Swansea, Wales

"I think class pets should be banned because of other people's allergies. Also, most animals are not kept in suitable conditions for them."

Tara, 10, Manchester, England

"I think it may be a bit unfair, but it is good because it helps us to find out things about them. We had a rabbit, but now we have a new head teacher and we have a teddy bear dog."

Fleur, 9, Norfolk, England

"My primary school had a class hamster and I honestly think it was a good idea. It helped other children to recognise whether they really wanted their own animals or whether they preferred to be able to give them back after a few weeks. The hamster we had did not seem to be "scared" of the class and it was treated just as well as it would have been, if not better, than if it had had only one owner."

Cassie, 14, Chester, England

"No, I don't think class pets should be banned because they teach children to share and teach them more about caring for animals! I BET THE ANIMALS LOVE IT!"

Lauren, 12, Essex, England

"I think class pets should be banned because they are kept in cages and can't have enough exercise and it is not fair on them."

Kerry, 11, Llangefni, Amlwch

"I think that class pets should be allowed for older children but not really young children. Last year my teacher had a pet bird whom she took to class everyday and took home at night and it was a great experience for everyone!"

Luna, 11, Houston, America

"I think that schools should have to be licensed if they want to keep mammals, and that teachers should undergo training to keep animals well. At the school where my mum works, they have a pet terrapin and the class teacher takes it home with her at the end of each term etc. I think fish and unholdable animals are best for schools, particularly if the school is in an underprivileged area."

Grace, 15, Birmingham, England

"I think class pets should be allowed for older classes who know how to treat animals and be sensible around them. They are also not judgemental so bullied children could have them as a friend instead."

Chloe, 13, Herts, England

"Yes, because my dog's old owner said that he had once been a class pet and he hated it! He had to go and hide in a corner! Same with my fish too."

Molly, 8, Foxham, England

"I think class pets are a good idea, because they help teach young children how to look after animals."

Jack, 12, Stockport, England

"No, I don't think they should be banned because sometimes they are used in educational ways and if you have a class pet your class will look much more creative!"

Isam, 11, Dundee, Scotland

"I think it's cruel. We had a school pet and it died because it was fed the wrong foods. People should be taught properly how to look after animals."

Sophie, 11, Brighton, England

"We have a gerbil and we all love it. It helps us find out more about how we look after it. As well as that, we have got fish which we clean every week."

Courtney, 10, Gateshead, England

"In year one, my teacher brought in her dog for the day and it didn't make a fuss it was just very playful!!!!!!!!!"

Jordan, 11, Basildon, England

"I think class pets should be banned there are better ways to learn about animals than keeping them in your classroom!!!"

Amy, 13, Boston, England

"My class has not had a pet. I think some animals are quite nasty and too furry, but nature is pretty amazing!"

Lucy, 11, London, England

"I believe that classes should not be keeping animals as they might get lonely. Maybe fish would be a bit better than other pets as they're more independent."

Alaw, 12, Pontypridd, Wales

"I think class pets are a bad thing, because it's not really fair on children who have animal allergies which might cause a big problem. When I was in primary school we used to have a cuddly toy which each child got to take home for the weekend. We had to take it wherever we went, then we had to write about everything we did with the pet over the weekend."

Rizwan, 12, Blackburn, England

"I think that it's fun for you, but not fun for the animals. How would you like it if you got passed around and went to other people's houses every weekend."

Kate, 11, Bristol, England

"We don't have pets in our classroom, but I think that's good because if it died it would be very sad for all of the pupils that knew that pet."

Ashley, 10, Dorset, England

"I don't have a class pet, but I think they are good company and they sometimes help you through hard times."

Samira, 12, London, England

"I have never had a class pet but I think the animals would get scared around children. I don't really see the point of having a pet in the class room it would just distract the children."

Molly, 12, Margate, England

"I think that they should be banned. I know two primary schools that didn't look after the pets properly and they all died. It is a bad idea"

Yasmin, 11, London, England

"I think they shouldn't be banned, because as they get taken home with someone in the class at weekends we learn more. And, and as long as they have plenty of toys and enough attention they will be fine!"

Megan 9, Dundee, Scotland

"When my mum went to school there were two guinea pigs in her classroom and she loved looking after them. Guinea pigs make good class pets because they aren't too fast and they're quite gentle."

Mi, 13, Lincoln, England

"We adopted a class hamster who had ended up coming home with my brother almost every weekend smelling, because no-one else cleaned him out."

Jenny, 12, Cheshire, England

"I don't think it's a good idea for young children, but for older children I think it is a good idea!!!! I don't agree with things like rabbits unless they are outside though. Hamsters are OK, as long as they are not picked up too much, and fish are fine because they forget where they are anyway!"

Laura, 12, Leeds, England

"I think it is nice to have a class pet, and I think the idea for a stuffed toy isn't very good. Use fierce mice for pets! They wont be scared. Just don't have them in younger classes because if they die, they won't understand and will cry and ask why and what happened."

Ella, 10, Cobham, England

"It's OK to have a class pet if it's a small hamster or rabbit and you take care of it, but I don't think classes below Year 4 should have one because they don't know much about pets and could be tempted to cuddle and squeeze them too much."

Ayisha, 10, London, England

"I think they shouldn't be allowed in classes because it distracts the children from their work, it's being a little cruel and they should be kept outside in nice breezy air!"

Kiran, 11, Birmingham, England

"I think that pets should be allowed because it gets children interested in animals!"

Payton, 9, Hampshire, England

"Yes, because people might be allergic to some of the animals, and no, because it helps you know a lot about animals."

David, 8, London, England

"I don't think people should keep pets in the classroom because the noise is frightening them. Having fish in the classroom is not so bad because they won't hear the sound so much because they live in the water!"

Danielle, 12, Caerphilly, Wales

"I think it's bad because if so many people take them home they will get confused."

Ella, 7, London, England

"I think it isn't fair that animals should be kept in classes, because they've got the right to be free and enjoy their lives. So I agree that keeping animals in classes should be banned."

Yoesra, 11, Burton-on-Trent, England

"NO! I don't think that class pets should be banned! I think schools with class pets should put all the pets in a room where it is not loud and then when children are chosen to take the pet home the TEACHERS go and get the pet from that room and the child takes the pet home!"

Lucy, 11, Wimborne, England

"No, I really enjoyed having a class pet. If you haven't got one at home it gives you the experience of having one."

Charlotte, 9, Tamworth, England

"Class pets shouldn't be banned, because some are nocturnal and others get their rest at break and dinner. Usually, one person gets chosen to look after the pet for a week and also gets to take it home with them."

Rowanne, 10, Manchester, England

"I don't think it's unfair, because my class has a pet guinea pig, and we have an outdoor run for it so that when it's hot it isn't stuck indoors. We also take great care of it and everyone takes turns in taking him home for the weekend."

Adele, 11, Grantham, England

"I think that class pets should be banned as soon as possible because it is cruel to keep animals held hostage. They should only be able to have classroom pets if they look after it properly."

Sophie, 11, Norwich, England

"I think class pets are a bad idea, because the animals could get stressed about being in a noisy environment."

Hannah, 11, Derby, England

"I think teachers should just put the pets outside the classrooms."

Aleks, 9, Somerset, England

"I think it's quite strange. At my infant school we had a cuddly toy in reception, but my friend's class had two mice. They were the teacher's pets and they were never touched!!!!! Plus it was very quiet whenever they got them out."

Jess, 12, Burgess Hill, England

"I think mammals should be banned, but pets like snails, fish and insects shouldn't because they don't have ears."

Jack, 9, High Wycombe, England

"In my science class at school we have a giant African land snail, called Brian. I think it's great, but if we had a hamster I would not be too keen."

Hannah, 13, Leeds, England

"Yes they should as some children could be allergic to them and they will be coming into the classroom every five days, ill."

Katz, 10, Manchester, England

"I think class pets should be banned, because if you were one then you would not know what was going on. There are too many people to get used to and different voices and smells. They must be so scared."

Chloe, 12, Somerset, England

"In my class at school we don't have a class pet, we have a toy dog called Sammy. Sam is so much better than a real animal, because some kids might have allergies and we don't have to clean up after him!!!"

Kirsty, 10, Greenock, Scotland

"I don't get the chance to have a class pet, but I would love to have one. I don't think it's cruel, I think they like the attention."

Lisa, 12, Wolverhampton, England

"We don't have a class pet, but I know lots of people who do. I think it's a good chance for kids to get nearer pets and not be scared of them!"

Shannon, 12, Cornwall, England

"I don't think class pets should be banned, because we have two guinea pigs in my school-called Pinky and Perky. Pinky lives in the nursery and Perky lives in my classroom. He seems quite happy."

Lauren, 10, Penarth, Wales

"I think pets like fish should be allowed because they would have the same amount of space in their tank as they would if they were in a house. But bigger animals should not be allowed."

Ruby, 11, Leicester, England

"What is the difference from keeping animals in cages from what we do at home? We put animals in cages at home and nobody's bothered, so what is the difference from keeping them in a classroom!!"

Georgia, 9, Leeds, England

"Yes, I don't think it is fair on the pets. Classrooms are noisy places! We've never had a class pet."

Rebecca, 13, Kent, England

"No. Because it teaches children responsibility and how to treat animals like humans rather than like toys"

Tia, 9, County Derry, Northern Ireland

"I think class pets are bad because the animal could be confused and scared being around lots of children."

Nahidul, 11, London, England

"I think only small, nocturnal animals should be allowed because then they will 99% of the time be asleep. I have friends who have pets; my science class hamster probably gets looked after better. Moo ( the science hamster ) got to come out when we were learning about habitats & adaptation - I think he enjoyed it !!!"

Louise, 12, Woking, England

"I think class pets should be banned because kids these days just aren't responsible enough! Once we had two goldfish in our class and they died!"

Amy, 11, Manchester, England

"We don't have class pets, but it is a good idea because they help you through troubles and they're like a friend to you."

Barney, 11, Oxfordshire, England

"I don't think it's wrong to have class pets, because children get the chance to look after one if they can't have a pet at home."

Bethan, 14, Gloucester, England

"I think class pets shouldn't be banned. Our class last year had one bird and one chinchilla. They taught us responsibility."

Emmi, 11, Prague, Czech Republic

"No, they shouldn't because not all children have pets and it is a good chance to get to know an animal."

Jessica, 7, Peterborough

"There is nothing wrong with having school pets, but don't have them in the younger classes because if something bad happens to the pet the kids wont understand."

Kimberley, 13, north west coast of Scotland

"Maybe it will get children more focused into coming to school. So I say it's a good idea."

Demi, 10, London, England

"In our class, we have three snails and they distract the children a lot! Also, it isn't fair on the animals!!!"

Simran, 11, Birmingham, England

"I agree, it must be horrible for the poor things and they can make the classroom pong a bit. Our school doesn't have class pets and we learn about animals just as well!"

Zohra, 9, Surbiton, England

"I am not sure, because class pets are a good idea because it teaches children how to look after pets without having responsibility, but school pets are a big reasonability and need a lot of time for food, water play and loving care."

Beth, 14, St Helens, England