A rural Manawatu school which held a possum throwing contest has drawn SPCA criticism and upset many in the community.

Children at Colyton School last week held possum carcasses by the tail in a contest to see who could throw them the furthest, the Manawatu Standard reported.

Palmerston North SPCA centre manager Danny Auger said the school was not breaking any laws, but that did not mean children should be encouraged to mistreat dead possums.

"It's morally wrong to throw a dead animal around. It's about time that people wake up and smell 2010 and realise that these sorts of things shouldn't be happening."

Mr Augers was worried that children were not being taught to respect dead animals.

He would visit Colydon School to ask them to stop holding such events.

The school refused to comment.