World Animal Day 2021

World Animal Day 2021

On World Animal Day this year (4 October), we are highlighting the devastating impact of climate change and environmental problems on working animals across the world and the poverty-stricken communities they support.

Drought, natural disasters (such as flooding, cyclones and wildfires), plastic pollution and other serious issues are threatening the survival of animals on an unprecedented scale.

Thankfully, SPANA is offering a lifeline to working animals in many of the world’s poorest communities. Our teams are providing vital veterinary treatment and vaccinations to animals in desperate need, as well as carrying out emergency projects to ensure that water, feed, shelter and other support is available to animals in crisis situations.

For instance, in response to the most severe drought in years in the Turkana region of Kenya, SPANA constructed a 110-metre-deep solar-powered borehole to provide an ongoing supply of fresh water to more than 15,000 animals, including donkeys and camels.

This World Animal Day, we’re asking for your support to help prevent suffering and ensure that animals under severe threat from environmental catastrophe receive the urgent assistance they need.

Did you know…?

More than 13 million animals in Ethiopia, such as horses, mules, cattle and camels, lost their lives due to drought in 2008 and 2011

Working animals in Mongolia face a major risk from the ‘dzud’ – a climate phenomenon where temperatures fall as low as -50˚C

In India, 17,000 animals were killed by cyclones last year and more than one million cattle are lost to flooding every year

SPANA vets delivered lifesaving treatment and vaccinations to 283,552 working animals across the world last year

SPANA built 11 emergency shelters to protect animals in 2020

Donkeys in Shashemane, Ethiopia, now benefit from a 5,000-litre capacity water tank and drinking troughs, built by SPANA

Zwina’s story

Zwina the foal, from Morocco, is just one of the many animals affected by environmental issues that has received vital care from SPANA vets. In the poorest communities across the world, there are often no rubbish collections. Plastic pollution is a major problem – and for working animals it can be life-threatening. Animals can mistake plastic for food while grazing and, if consumed, it can have serious consequences.

When 18-month-old foal Zwina accidentally ingested a plastic bag, her owner found her in intense pain and knew he needed to get SPANA’s help. Click here to find out how Zwina’s owner’s quick-thinking and the expertise of the SPANA team ensured that Zwina was given the lifesaving treatment she needed.

Our celebrity supporters say...

Paul O’Grady MBE, Ambassador for SPANA, said:

‘The need to take urgent action against climate change has never been greater. Environmental disasters, consumption of plastic and other devastating problems are leaving animals struggling to survive, often without food, water and vital veterinary care.

‘Working animals overseas are facing a constant threat to their health and wellbeing, and the situation is only getting worse.

‘This World Animal Day, I’ll be standing with SPANA and calling for drastic action to protect the animals and families affected by climate in the world’s poorest regions.’

Dame Twiggy Lawson DBE, Ambassador for SPANA, said:

‘Millions of animals are the forgotten victims of climate change. As the state of our planet continues to worsen at an alarming rate, it is often working animals and people in the world’s poorest communities that are hit the hardest.

‘Extreme temperatures and failed rains are leaving working animals without the food and water they need, and with little chance of survival. As they desperately search for food, malnourished animals also often ingest plastic, which can cause sickness and death.

‘I fully support SPANA this World Animal Day, with the message that something must urgently be done to save animals and stop this spiralling destruction.’

Brian Blessed OBE, Ambassador for SPANA, said:

‘Across the world, millions of animals are losing their lives at the hands of natural disasters and climate change. The destruction caused by flooding, cyclones and wildfires is having a dreadful impact on the lives of working animals and the impoverished communities who depend on them for survival.

‘SPANA’s work is so crucial. The charity’s vital veterinary care is alleviating pain and suffering for hundreds of thousands of working animals every year, and their emergency feeding and vaccination programmes are saving huge numbers of lives.

‘On World Animal Day, please join me in supporting SPANA, who are providing a lifeline for animals and people in desperate need.’

Deborah Meaden said:

‘Climate change is escalating disastrously, and the impact of this is abundantly clear. Vulnerable animals and people are bearing the brunt and governments must act now and tackle the issue head on.

‘The world is drowning in plastic and too many working animals in developing countries are now facing colic and other potentially fatal problems from consuming it while grazing. At the same time, drought is leading to severe malnutrition and the tragic death of animals, which also means further hardship for people in the poorest communities who depend on these animals.

‘I wholeheartedly support SPANA this World Animal Day. We must speak up for suffering animals that have no voice and no choice.’

Chris Packham said:

‘Climate change is the biggest issue facing humanity today and it is our responsibility to act immediately and stand up for our planet and the animals that inhabit it. All species are at risk – and that includes working animals in parts of the world that are feeling the full force of this unfolding calamity.

‘I fully endorse SPANA’s work across the world and the tireless efforts of their teams, saving the lives of working animals and preventing suffering in the face of the climate disaster. On World Animal Day, it’s time to shout louder than ever on behalf of these animals.’

Previous World Animal Day campaigns

World Animal Day 2019

For World Animal Day 2019, we are raising awareness about the positive effects animals can have on our mental health and wellbeing.

Mules walking on mountain

World Animal Day 2018

For World Animal Day 2018, we're raising awareness of overlooked animals – the working horses, donkeys, mules, camels and elephants that help globally.

Donkey and foal in field

World Animal Day 2017

To mark World Animal Day on 4 October, we are raising awareness about the essential role working animals play around the world, supporting the livelihoods...

World Animal Day 2020

On World Animal Day this year, we are highlighting the fact that so many animals around the world have no access to the vital veterinary...

World Animal Day 2019

For World Animal Day 2019, we are raising awareness about the positive effects animals can have on our mental health and wellbeing.

Mules walking on mountain

World Animal Day 2018

For World Animal Day 2018, we're raising awareness of overlooked animals – the working horses, donkeys, mules, camels and elephants that help globally.

Donkey and foal in field

World Animal Day 2017

To mark World Animal Day on 4 October, we are raising awareness about the essential role working animals play around the world, supporting the livelihoods...

World Animal Day 2020

On World Animal Day this year, we are highlighting the fact that so many animals around the world have no access to the vital veterinary...

gita and her owner

Gita weathers a dangerous storm

When a devastating cyclone struck the Indian state of Odisha, thousands of working animals were left without food or shelter. Read how SPANA helped.

Protecting animals from extreme climates in Mongolia

Read about our emergency project building and repairing wells to help animals suffering a devastating drought known as the 'dzud'.

gita and her owner

Gita weathers a dangerous storm

When a devastating cyclone struck the Indian state of Odisha, thousands of working animals were left without food or shelter. Read how SPANA helped.

Protecting animals from extreme climates in Mongolia

Read about our emergency project building and repairing wells to help animals suffering a devastating drought known as the 'dzud'.