CHARITY bosses are calling for animal welfare to be taught in school after figures revealed one in five children have seen animal abuse online.

Each year, the RSPCA receive more than 700 online incidents of cruelty and neglect in the North West - in the first six months of 2018, 62 online animal cruelty cases were reported in Merseyside.

The charity say that youngsters between the ages of 10 and 18 are being exposed to horrific incidents of animal suffering online - with nearly 5,000 incidents reported across the UK yearly.

In a bid to combat this, the animal welfare charity are launching Generation Kind, its biggest ever education and prevention programme aimed at youngsters plus a petition to get the topic taught at schools.

RSPCA chief executive Chris Sherwood said: “The number of children seeing animal abuse online is shocking - the current generation of children are witnessing horrifying animal cruelty and neglect through channels which simply didn’t exist for previous generations.

“The risk for children growing up in the 21st century is that frequent and casual exposure to animal abuse will desensitise them and may even make it seem acceptable.

"Animals need us now more than ever and we want to grow a new generation of young people who care, who are informed and who want to do their best for animals.

“This is why we are launching Generation Kind - an ambitious education programme targeting school children, children in care, young offenders or those at risk of offending and other disadvantaged young people.

"Central to this is a new campaign to get animal welfare taught in all schools.”

A new poll by the charity also revealed 75% of people in the North West say that animal welfare should be taught in schools.

Chris added: “This is the most important campaign we have ever undertaken.

"We are fighting animal abuse and neglect every day but we can only do so much.

"If we can foster empathy and responsibility towards animals in the consumers, politicians and decision makers of tomorrow, we can create a society which is truly kinder to animals.”

Generation Kind is made up of nine projects; Paws4Change, Wild Things, animal care apprenticeships, Compassionate Class, Looked After Children, Great Debates, teacher training, breaking the chain and volunteer speakers.

Through the expansion of these projects, the RSPCA hopes to reach two million children by 2030.

To find out more about Generation Kind visit and to sign the petition to get animal welfare taught in school click