‘International Working Animal Day’ Highlights Vital Role Of World’s Forgotten Workforce

(SPANA Press Release) Today 15th June, animal welfare charity SPANA is asking everyone to back ‘International Working Animal Day’ and raise awareness about the vital role played by working animals in developing countries around the world.

Working animals – such as horses, donkeys and camels – are relied upon by one billion 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, survey results show that 40 per cent of people in the UK don’t know what a working animal is.

Despite their importance, these animals often lead short, hard lives, with tough working conditions, inadequate nutrition and no access to veterinary treatment.

SPANA works in developing countries throughout the world, providing free veterinary care to sick and injured working animals, as well as working with communities to improve animal welfare through education and training.

However, the sheer number of working animals globally means that there are still millions of animals that currently have no form of veterinary treatment available to them.

Geoffrey Dennis, Chief Executive of SPANA, said: “Working animals – such as horses, donkeys and camels – are fundamental in supporting the livelihoods of the world’s poorest people.

“It’s easy to forget that these animals played a key part in our own history, even for large parts of the last century. Today, a large proportion of people in the UK don’t even know what a working animal is, but – from cart and plough horses to pit ponies – they were a familiar sight in the streets, fields and workplaces of Britain for centuries.

“Many working animals currently endure hard lives and very few have access to the veterinary care they desperately need when they are sick or injured. These invisible heroes need our help.”

For more information about the importance of working animals and SPANA’s work, visit www.spana.org/iwad.

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