Every year, World Animal Day is observed on the 4th of October, with the objective of promoting animal welfare and raising their status in the society. The reason this day is observed on the 4th of October is the fact that this day marks the feast day of Francis of Assisi, who is the patron saint of animals. As per the official website of World Animal Day, the mission of this day is, ‘’To raise the status of animals in order to improve welfare standards around the globe. Building the celebration of World Animal Day unites the animal welfare movement, mobilising it into a global force to make the world a better place for all animals. It’s celebrated in different ways in every country, irrespective of nationality, religion, faith or political ideology. Through increased awareness and education we can create a world where animals are always recognised as sentient beings and full regard is always paid to their welfare.’’
The first time World Animal Day was observed was in the year 1925, on the 24th of March, at Sports Palace, in Berlin by Heinrich Zimmermann, who was a German publisher and writer. Over 5,000 people had participated in this event. It is said that originally, this event was scheduled to be observed on the 4th of October, with the same logic that it is the feast day of Francis of Assisi, however, on that day, the venue was not available and hence, the alternate date was chosen. It was only in the year 1929 that the event began to be observed on the 4th of October, however, only few countries followed it. Each and every year, Heinrich used to religiously promote this event as World Animal Day and his hard work finally bore fruit in the year 1931 in the month of May, as 4th of October was globally accepted as World Animal Day, at the International Animal Protection Congress, in Florence, Italy.
As on today, World Animal Day is a global day of observance to promote animal rights and its chief sponsor since 2003 is Naturewatch Foundation, which is a UK based animal welfare charity.
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