Imprinting is the learning in which an animal gains its sense of identity. This should not be done between animals and humans in the school environment.

Imprinting exercises must not be carried out without the written approval of the SACEC.

Imprinting has been used in the past to demonstrate an early bonding event that can occur with young animals such as ducklings and chickens. As it is so well documented and presents significant animal welfare problems it does not need to be replicated time and time again. Difficulties that result from this activity include difficulties in finding suitable homes for the imprinted animals, in weaning them from human dependency prior to their return to a herd or group, premature death, avoidable disease, malnutrition and social dysfunction.

Imprinting should not be confused with familiarising animals with humans and a range of management activities. Training animals at a young age, to be handled in a variety of situations, increases the safety of animals and humans and decreases stress over the life time of the animal.

Image: Imprinting young animals, such as chickens, is prohibited in schools.


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