The local humane society does not plan to pursue animal-cruelty charges against a 16-year-old Ohio high school student who skinned and cooked two animals in class that he bought from a pet store.
The student, who lives in Montville Township and has not been named, got permission from his teacher to bring a skinned and gutted rabbit to his Living Skills class at Ledgemont High School, according to The News-Herald newspaper, which reports on northeastern Ohio. The student reportedly indicated that he planned to shoot the animal during a weekend hunting trip.
However, the student apparently bought a rabbit and a guinea pig from a pet shop. Both animals had been field-dressed, or gutted, but not skinned when he brought them to class. The teacher allowed the student to finish preparing and cooking the animals in class, and allowed other students to leave the room.
Principal Beto Gage did not return a call seeking comment. He told the News-Herald that he was not planning to pursue any actions against the boy, and that game hunting in the rural area is common.
Sarah Westman, the humane officer for Geauga County, Ohio, said animal-cruelty statutes say that an animal must have been killed unnecessarily or suffered unjustifiably for charges to be brought.
“We were told a judge and a jury have to make a call based on what community standards are,” she said. “It would not be considered unjustifiable, because the animals were eaten.”
A version of this article appeared in the February 02, 2005 edition of Education Week