SCOTLAND’s animal welfare charity has launched their first competition for Scottish primary and secondary schools.

The Scottish SPCA visits the institutions every year to deliver their free Prevention through Education programme, which encourages pupils to become responsible “animal citizens”.

Their programme links in with areas of the curriculum for excellence, with the aim of fostering empathy and compassion towards animals. Primary and secondary schools have been invited to submit a short film that educates the public, especially their peers, on key animal welfare issues that the charity regularly has to tackle.

This will give schools the chance to engage their students in a creative and cross-curricular activity, with prizes up for grabs for themselves and the school.

Judges will be looking for innovative and creative methods of conveying key messages.

Scottish SPCA head of education and policy, Gilly Mendes Ferreira said: “Since 2010 we have seen over a 300% increase in the number of calls where children have alerted us to animals in need of our help, which saved injured wildlife and uncovered cases of neglect.

“We are thrilled to be launching this competition for both primary and secondary schools and hope that this continues to encourage children and young adults to be #AlwaysAnimalAware.

She added: “We truly believe children are the key to making a real difference to animal welfare in Scotland.”