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Canine charity wants UK to add dog education to curriculum

The United Kingdom charity K9 Crusaders wants to add education about dogs to school curricula in order to teach children the issues surrounding dog care and humane treatment of animals, the BBC reports.

Charity Manager Sue Smith told the news source that there is ignorance surrounding the differences in breeds, particularly bull breeds. Her charity has seen a steep rise in the number of bull breeds, such as mastiffs, Staffordshire terrier mixes and bull terriers that are put up for adoption, and believes that education is the way to address it.

However, the Department for Education (DfE) said it wanted to cut down the curriculum, giving more freedom to teachers, the news source reports. This means that if teachers deem it appropriate and worthwhile to discuss, the DfE trusts their judgement, a spokesperson said.

"I think there is ample room for both schools and colleges to include dogs in their curriculum," Smith told the news source.

If dogs are included, the UK's curriculum could shadow that of New South Wales, Australia, which as a Responsible Pet Ownership Program that will be available to children in kindergarten through second grade starting in the 2011 school year.  
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