World Animal Day

World Animal Day is an international day of action for animal rights and welfare celebrated annually on October 4, the feast day of Francis of Assisi, the patron saint of animals.

World Animal Day
WAD logo 2016 RGB.jpg
World Animal Day logo in English
Official nameWorld Animal Day and Alfred Meades’ Birthday
DateOctober 4


The mission of World Animal 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 is 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."[1][2]


Blessings of the Animals on St. Francis Day in Lincoln, Nebraska (2017)

World Animal Day was originated by cynologist Heinrich Zimmermann. He organized the first World Animal Day on 24 March 1925 at the Sport Palace in Berlin, Germany. Over 5,000 people attended this first event. The event was originally scheduled for 4 October, to align with the feast day of Saint Francis of Assisi, patron saint of ecology, however the venue was not available on that day. The event was moved to 4 October for the first time in 1929. Initially he found a following only in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, and Czechoslovakia. Every year Zimmermann worked tirelessly on the promotion of World Animal Day. Finally, in May 1931 at a congress of the International Animal Protection Congress in Florence Italy, his proposal to make 4 October World Animal Day universal was unanimously accepted and adopted as a resolution.[3]

It is sometimes cited, incorrectly,[3] that World Animal Day started in 1931 at the convention of ecologists in Florence, Italy, who wished to highlight the plight of endangered species.[4][5]

Dutch children's drawing competition on the occasion of World Animal Day 1969

In the Netherlands it is similarly well known as Mother's Day and Valentine's Day.[6]

In Australia, celebrations have previously been organised by the RSPCA.[7]

Since 2002, The Finnish Association of Animal Protection Associations (SEY) has organized various events during the Animal Week and distributed material to schools.[8]

Today, World Animal Day is growing into a global event that unites the animal protection movement, led and sponsored by UK-based animal welfare charity, Naturewatch Foundation since 2003.[9]

On October 27, 2006, the Polish parliament adopted a resolution on the establishment of 4 October as Animal Day.[10]

In Argentina, Animal Day has been observed since 1908, when it was spear headed by Ignacio Lucas Albarracín, director of the Zoological Garden and president of the Animal Protection Association of Buenos Aires. Initially the day was observed on April 2nd, it was moved after Albarricín died on April 29th 1926 to coincide with this day.[11]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "World Animal Day Homepage". Retrieved 2016-10-20.
  2. ^ Spirit Animal history of World Animal Day
  3. ^ a b "THE ORIGIN OF WORLD ANIMAL DAY" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2018-09-29. Retrieved 2016-10-20.
  4. ^ "World Animal Day - Photos - The Big Picture". Retrieved 2016-10-20.
  5. ^ "World Animal Day marked - World News". SINA English. Archived from the original on 2016-06-10. Retrieved 2016-10-20.
  6. ^ Dorien Pels (18 November 1995). "De traditie als moneymaker" [The commercialization of tradition]. Trouw (in Dutch). Retrieved 18 May 2019.
  7. ^ "WORLD ANIMAL DAY". The Examiner (Tasmania). CVII (174). Tasmania, Australia. 1 October 1948. p. 3. Retrieved 19 May 2019 – via National Library of Australia.
  8. ^ SEY Finnish Animal Protection Federation. "Eläinten viikko" [Earlier animal week campaigns] (in Finnish). Archived from the original on 27 August 2019. Retrieved 13 June 2019.
  9. ^ "World Animal Day | Project sponsored by Naturewatch Foundation". Naturewatch. Retrieved 2016-10-20.
  10. ^ Sejm (October 27, 2006). "Uchwała Sejmu Rzeczypospolitej Polskiej z dnia 27 października 2006 r. w sprawie ustanowienia Dnia Zwierząt" [Resolution of the Sejm of the Republic of Poland of October 27, 2006 on establishing the Day of Animals]. (in Polish). Retrieved 13 June 2019.
  11. ^ Marcelo Cantó (29 April 2016). "29 de abril, día del animal en Argentina" [April 29, day of the animal in Argentina]. Argentear (in Spanish). Retrieved 13 June 2019.

External linksEdit