Donkey and foal walking in a line
Donkey and foal walking in a line

International Working Animal Day 2018

What is International Working Animal Day?

SPANA’s third annual International Working Animal Day took place on Friday 15 June 2018 to raise awareness about the vital role played by working animals in developing countries around the world.

Working animals – such as horses, donkeys, camels and elephants – are relied upon by over 600 million of the world’s poorest people for their livelihoods. More than 200 million working animals worldwide do the jobs of trucks, tractors and taxis and, by transporting goods and people, make it possible for impoverished families to earn a living.

Yet, 40 per cent of people in the UK don’t know what a working animal is and, despite their importance, these animals often lead short, hard lives, with tough working conditions, inadequate nutrition and no access to veterinary treatment.

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

Watch Dante's story

How can you get involved?

This year, we’re raising awareness about the tough journeys working animals have to make every day. They often carry heavy loads across long distances, in extreme temperatures, with little rest or water.

Watch and share Dante’s story and donate to pledge your support for working animals.

Man in brown coat smiling

Who’s supporting the campaign?

Broadcaster Ben Fogle is supporting this year’s campaign. He said:

‘For over 600 million people worldwide, a working animal is a vital necessity. Working animals represent their transport, their means of collecting firewood and water, and their only way of making a small income to provide for their families. That’s why I support SPANA’s work offering free veterinary treatment to working animals in need, and why on International Working Animal Day I’m asking that these animal heroes get the recognition they deserve.

“I’ve recently returned from the Himalayas, where pack mules undertake incredible journeys every day and provide a lifeline for local communities. In mountainous and isolated regions, where cars and trucks cannot venture, survival is only possible thanks to the tireless steps of working animals.’

Get interactive!

Ever wondered how far a working animal walks every day on average? And ever wondered whether your daily step count matches up? Our step tracker tool shows your just that. See how your daily activity compares to the average steps taken by a working animal, and pledge your support to working animals all over the world with our pledge your support tool.

Use our step tracker Pledge your support to working animals

Read more about our International Working Animal Day campaigns

In 2017, we looked at how animals are the world’s forgotten workforce in some of the world’s most remote communities and saw how famous city landmarks all around the UK have changed since working animals have become less common on streets up and down the country.

Take a look at 2017’s campaign

Discover more ways to get involved with helping working animals

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Three children sit together happily holding knitted animal toys

Knitting for charity: big knit for vets

Try our Big Knit For Vet Kit - get your free fundraising pack full of knitting patterns.

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.

Table of cakes

Spana World Tea Party

Find out how to host a charity tea party that will help raise funds to care for working animals in the world. Discover more about...

Donate to SPANA to help the world’s working animals