International Working Animal Day 2017

International working animal day 2017

On Thursday 15 June 2017, SPANA celebrated International Working Animal Day to raise awareness of the incredible contribution that working animals make to people’s lives around the world.

Working animals – such as horses, donkeys, elephants and camels – are relied upon by 600 million of the world’s poorest people for their livelihoods. Despite their importance, these animals often lead short, hard lives, with tough working conditions, inadequate nutrition and no access to veterinary treatment.

The world's forgotten workforce

green graphic for working animals
green graphic for working animals
green graphic for working animals
green graphic for working animals

Look back to the UK’s working animal past

These nostalgic images of London and other UK cities show our streets filled with working animals and highlight the stark contrast between the past and modern day.

View then and now images

Hear from our celebrity supporters

Ben Fogle

‘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.’

Blonde woman with hands on hips

Deborah Meaden

‘Working animals are no longer a common sight on the streets of Britain as they once were. But, all around the world, these animals still play a vital role and make it possible for the very poorest families to get by and survive. All too often the welfare of working animals is forgotten or ignored. On International Working Animal Day, please join me in supporting SPANA’s work of building a more compassionate future for working animals.’

Smiling man with small dog

Paul O’Grady

‘It breaks my heart to see how hard horses, donkeys, mules and camels have to work around the world, pulling carts and carrying heavy loads. Despite how important they are, many will lead short, painful lives. Hardly any receive even basic vet care when they’re sick or injured, as it’s often not available and their owners simply can’t afford it. They deserve better. “That’s why I support SPANA, the charity that gets free lifesaving vet care to working animals. Today I’m asking you to join me in backing SPANA’s International Working Animal Day. We need governments and aid organisations around the world to recognise the massive contribution of working animals and to make sure they get the treatment, care and compassion they deserve.’

600 million people depend on working animals for their livelihood

In 2016, SPANA launched International Working Animal Day to raise awareness about the vital role played by working animals in developing countries around the world. Learn more about working animals by watching our video or downloading our fact sheet from the first ever International Working Animal Day.

Take a look at 2016’s campaign