Donkeys carrying goods

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.


The facts

How can I 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 storycompare how many steps you walk each day with a working animal and show you care by pledging your support for working animals.

SPANA Step tracker
Pledge your support

Who’s supporting the campaign?

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

Ben Fogle quote for IWAD

“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.”