International Working Animal Day 2022

What is International Working Animal Day?

SPANA’s seventh annual International Working Animal Day, taking place on 15 June 2022, is raising awareness about the vital role of working animals in people’s everyday lives – both for families in the world’s poorest communities, and those in the UK and other wealthier nations.

Globally, an estimated 200 million working animals support the livelihoods of people in low-income countries. By ploughing fields and transporting food, water, goods and firewood, they make it possible for many living in poverty-stricken communities to earn a small income and survive. These animals make a critical difference to people’s lives – including enabling many children to go to school and receive an education.

But the impact of these animals spans well beyond the countries where they work. In Western countries, including the UK, many everyday products we enjoy – from tea and coffee to chocolate, sugar and flowers – start the journey to our homes via the back of a working animal. From Costa Rica to Ethiopia, many animals are involved in transporting agricultural produce in small farms, fields and plantations.

Yet, despite their vital role, this invisible workforce is almost completely overlooked. Most people are unaware that working animals often help produce the daily items we take for granted in our shops and supermarkets.

These animals often lead short, hard lives, working in extreme conditions, with little rest, poor nutrition and no access to essential veterinary treatment.

SPANA believes that these animals deserve greater respect and recognition. And, more importantly, they need our help.

Did you know...?

Working equids support an estimated 600 million people globally

One working animal can support the livelihoods of an extended family of up to 30 people 

It is estimated that between five and 20 people depend on every working equid

50 per cent of the world’s population depends on animals as their main source of power 

Many working animals are involved in producing everyday products such as tea, coffee, sugar and chocolate 

Working animals also help transport rice, corn, fruit, vegetables and even flowers 

BORA’S STORY

On International Working Animal Day, we are highlighting the essential role of working animals across the world and the vital care we are able to provide to them, thanks to our supporters. One of these animals is Bora, a nine-year-old horse, who attended our mobile clinic in Ethiopia when his eyes became painful and irritated. Find out how our veterinary team was able to provide the urgent treatment he needed by reading Bora’s story.

Join SPANA ambassador Jim Broadbent in celebrating this year's International Working Animal Day

Discover more ways to get involved with helping working animals

Keera the water donkey’s harness wounds

Keera the donkey was suffering from nasty wounds caused by a problem with the water cart she pulls and needed immediate help from SPANA vets...

Carriage horses waiting in a line

Ethical Animal Tourism

Our Holiday Hooves Guide contains advice on how to choose healthy looking animals for activities abroad.

Keera the water donkey’s harness wounds

Keera the donkey was suffering from nasty wounds caused by a problem with the water cart she pulls and needed immediate help from SPANA vets...

Carriage horses waiting in a line

Ethical Animal Tourism

Our Holiday Hooves Guide contains advice on how to choose healthy looking animals for activities abroad.