World Animal Day (WAD) is annually observed across the globe on October 4 which aims to brings together the animal welfare movement to work towards creating a better world for all animals.
- The day celebrates the diversity of the animal kingdom and reflects on the importance of animal welfare around the world.
The theme of World Animal Day 2023 is ‘Great or Small, Love Them All’.
- The theme is a reminder that all animals, regardless of their size or species, are sentient beings who deserve our respect and compassion.
i.The idea of World Animal Day was initially proposed by Heinrich Zimmerman, a writer and publisher of the German magazine “Mensch und Hund” (Man and Dog).
ii.The first World Animal Day celebrated on 24th March 1925, at the Sports Palace in Berlin, Germany; It was organised by Zimmerman.
iii.In 1931, his proposal to officially recognize October 4th as World Animal Day was approved and enacted as a resolution at the International Animal Protection Congress in Florence, Italy.
- October 4th is the feast day of St. Francis of Assisi, the patron saint of animals and the environment.
iv.In 2003, to increase awareness of World Animal Day, the United Kingdom(UK)-based animal welfare charity Naturewatch Foundation created a website dedicated to the event.
v.As of now, the World Animal Day is celebrated in over 100 countries across the world.
Significance of World Animal Day
i.World Animal Day serves as a platform to raise awareness about the ethical treatment of animals.
- It underscores the importance of compassion and respect towards all living beings, emphasizing that animals have the right to live free from suffering and exploitation.
ii.The Day highlights the urgency of conserving endangered species and protecting their natural habitats.
iii.This day plays a crucial role in educating the public about various issues affecting animals, including animal cruelty, illegal wildlife trade, habitat destruction, and the impact of climate change on wildlife.
iv.World Animal Day encourages governments and policymakers to enact and enforce laws and regulations regarding animal safety.