Ottawa, Oct 4 (Canadian-Media): World Animal Day (WAD), observed annually on October 4, is an international day of action for animal rights and welfare, media reports said.
World Animal Day. Image credit: Twitter handle
An atmosphere of new culture of respect and sensitivity towards animals, should be created through increased awareness and education, to make this world a fairer place for all animals.
World Animal Day idea was originated by Heinrich Zimmermann, the German writer and publisher of the magazine Mensch und Hund/Man and Dog.
He organized the first World Animal Day on 24 March 1925 in Berlin and moved it to 4 October for the first time in 1929.
Initially WAD was followed only in Germany, Austria, Switzerland and Czechoslovakia.
After tirelessly advocating the promotion of WAD, finally in May 1931 at a congress of the world’s animal protection organizations in Florence Italy, Zimmermann's proposal to make 4 October World Animal Day universal, was unanimously accepted.
As publisher of the magazine Mensch und Hund/Man and Dog with new issues every two weeks and used the magazine to promote the welfare of animals under the general public and established a World Animal Day Committee.
WAD was chosen to be on 4 October as it is the day of Francis of Assisi, the patron saint of ecology, including animals and the founder of the Catholic Franciscan order.
According to legendary belief, Saint Francis was able to talk to animals. He died on the eve of 4 October, which became his patron saints day.
Observance of WAD, unites the animal welfare movement and mobilising it into a global force to embraces all animals in every country which feeds into legal reform and social progress in creating a world where animals are recognised as sentient beings and their welfare are fully cared for.
WAD has already brought about a significant and lasting contribution towards advancing animal welfare standards, and its influence will only continue to grow.
Heart-warming messages regularly from people keen to tell us about how they were able to motivate general public regarding awareness of animal welfare throughout the world.
There are other important days linked to animals such as: World Day for Laboratory Animals on 24 April and World Wildlife Day on 3 March.
However, World Animal Day is the one day of the year that embraces all animals and the unique concerns of each, in every country.
In 2003, recorded 44 events being held in 13 countries and this has now grown to an estimated 1000 events in around 100 countries.
On this day we can learn about animals through open days at sanctuaries.
This day is also an opportunity to remember that many animal species are in danger due to the cruelty of human beings.
Pandas, brown bears, elephants, rhinoceroses, dolphins, orang-utans, tigers and may more are having a very hard time right now and it is our duty to protect these endangered animals on every day of the week, and not just WAD.
Helping to enhance the visibility of WAD is the need of the hour.
(Reporting by Asha Bajaj)