For the 84th year running World Animal Day is being celebrated on the 4th of October! Started in Florence, Italy in 1931 at a convention of ecologists, its aim was to bring attention to endangered or threatened species. The date chosen by them as it is the Feast Day of the patron saint of animals, St Francis of Assisi. The mission now is to raise the status of animals in order to improve welfare standards around the globe.
To achieve this everyone is encouraged to organise events and activities, and it is celebrated across the world, with no regard to nationality, religion, faith or political ideology.
Each year the event continues to grow; in 2003 44 events in 13 countries were recorded, and this has grown to an estimated 1,000 events in 100 countries.
The global brand also hopes to help grass roots groups receive support and attention, giving them campaigning tools and attracting volunteers to help with their work.
Josphat Ngonyo, Executive Director, Africa Network for Animal Welfare said: “Thank you once again for your inspiration and support towards this auspicious World Animal Day that continues to make a huge difference for animals in Africa and the world at large… What World Animal Day is doing for animals is truly influencing all of us in amazing ways.”
Big names such as Twiggy Lawson, Brian Blessed, Ali Baba and Uri Geller have come together to show their support for the day, as well as the Naturewatch Foundation, WWF, ISF Foundation and Possum Valley Animal Sanctuary, to name but a few.
“I feel strongly that we are the Guardians of this Planet. Animals are under our sacred protection! Fail them, and we will pay for it dearly,” said Brian Blessed.
Wildlife presenter and veterinarian Stephen Leonard added: “Raising awareness is the first and arguably the most important step in any campaign. Reminding people worldwide of the importance of animal welfare is paramount. It’s also very reassuring to realise that there are so many people on this planet who really care about its inhabitants. You all deserve a huge pat on the back.”
Groups, organisations and individuals around the world have organised events that range from blessing animals and sponsored walks, to veterinary treatment camps and conferences.
Increasing visibility is a vital catalyst for change, so World Animal Day hopes to make animal welfare issues front page news around the globe.
Further information and a list of events can be found here if you would like to get involved!
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