International Working Animal Day 2024

What is International Working Animal Day?

SPANA’s eighth annual International Working Animal Day, taking place on 15 June 2024, is raising awareness of the impact that the climate crisis has on working animals across the world.

Floods, landslides, earthquakes and extreme heat are just a few of the devastating consequences of the climate crisis that are affecting working animals and their communities.

When disaster strikes, it is usually the most vulnerable in society without resources who are most severely affected – including the low-income countries that SPANA commonly works in.

These climate-related events are making life more difficult than ever for working animals and their owners due to food and water shortages, destroyed homes, and threats to the livelihoods of those who rely on agriculture or tourism to provide for their families.

SPANA teams across the world are providing lifesaving care and support to these working animals. Through essential veterinary treatment and emergency feed, we’re able to offer a lifeline to affected animals in need.

We also know that, to improve the welfare of working animals, we must ensure that we are working to create a world where animals, people and the environment are respected and thrive. As part of our ongoing strategy, we are expanding our emergency capacity to respond to increased need, and we are working at national and international levels to highlight the links between working animals and the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. We will continue to rise to the growing challenges facing working animals, such as climate-related emergencies.

SPANA recently conducted a survey to learn more about the general public’s thoughts on working animals in the climate crisis. We found that:

  • Almost half the people surveyed are adopting a greener way of life following the recent droughts in parts of Africa, including Zimbabwe, Tunisia and Namibia
  • 76 per cent of people want to make more of a difference after witnessing the suffering caused by the climate crisis to people, animals, and communities across the world
  • 78 per cent of people feel that working animals are largely overlooked and forgotten in the climate crisis
  • 82 per cent of people agree that working animals need help and support when an emergency strikes

This valuable insight only reinforces why SPANA is committed to helping working animals affected by the growing impact of climate change.

Did you know..?

There are an estimated 200 million working animals across the world

Working equids support an estimated 600 million people globally

The World Bank estimates that by 2030, the climate crisis could push over 120 million more people into poverty

SPANA provided 62,500kg of emergency feed to animals in need last year

SPANA provided vital veterinary care to 8,800 working animals affected by the landslides in Tanzania this year

SPANA provided 3,628 veterinary treatments to sick and injured working animals affected by the Morocco earthquake last year

A mother donkey and her foal graze after being rescued from flash floods in Iraq

Jiyan and Karwan’s story

Jiyan, a donkey from Iraqi Kurdistan, and her foal, Karwan, are just some of the working animals affected by the devastating consequences of the climate crisis. Flash floods from heavy rainfall swept through their community and destroyed their home, leaving the terrified pair stranded. Read more about their story and how our SPANA team were able to rescue the animals and provide the emergency veterinary care they needed.

Show your support for working animals

As extreme weather events become more common, we must be ready to act quickly when the next disaster strikes. We need your help to keep our teams on the ground and ready to provide aid and assistance during emergencies. Find out how you could save the lives of injured and abandoned working animals by supporting SPANA today.