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.