This day is an international day of action, celebrated annually on October 4 which is also the Feast Day of St Francis of Assisi, the patron saint of animals. This great day started in 1931 at a convention of ecologists in Florence, Italy with the purpose to highlight the plight of endangered species.World Animal Welfare Day celebrates relationship between humankind and animal kingdom.
Aim of World Animal Welfare Day
The aim of World Animal Welfare Day is to improve animal welfare standards worldwide through the support and involvement of individuals, groups and organisations that care for and love animals. This is the reason it is also known as “Animal Lovers Day”. Though it is a wonderful way to unite the animal welfare movement around the world, embracing all animals and the unique concerns of each in every country, there were many factors that lead to the origin of this day. These factors included the inhuman treatment given to world’s 60 billion farm animals, negligence to stray dogs and cats, and illegal selling of wild animals. Moreover, the animals are usually kept out of mind during any natural disasters or calamities.
World Animal Welfare Day Celebration
World Animal Welfare Day is a wonderful reminder of different ways in which animals enhance our lives. Various activities are performed during the day, such as launching of animal welfare campaigns, opening of rescue shelters for the animals, and organisation of fund raising events. Also schools and colleges prepare visual displays with wildlife information. Even many organizations volunteer to sponsor the construction of shelter to the animals.
Laws for Animal Welfare
There are laws and enactment for animal welfare too. “Cruelty to Animals Act 1835” was the first national law to protect animals which was laid in UK. After this another law came up with the name “Protection of Animals Act 1911”. Following this, a national law, “Animal Welfare Act of 1966”, to protect animals, emerged in US. In India, the “Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960” was laid to protect the animals.
It was in 1965, the UK government started an investigation for the welfare of intensively farmed animals. Professor Roger Brambell was the lead investigator. This was based on the concerns raised in Ruth Harrison's book, “Animal Machines”, published in 1964.Professor Brambell submitted a report for this, on the basis of which the UK government had set up the Farm Animal Welfare Advisory Committee in 1967. This Committeewas converted into the Farm Animal Welfare Council in 1979. According to the first guidelines set by the Committee, it was recommended that animals need the freedom to "stand up, lie down, turn around, groom themselves and stretch their limbs." Further the guidelines was elaborated and revised, popularly known as the Five Freedoms.
In UK, the “Animal Welfare Act 2006” consolidated various forms of animal welfare legislation.A number of animal welfare organizations have started campaigning to achieve a Universal Declaration on Animal Welfare (UDAW)at the United Nations. Ethically, the Universal Declaration would recommend the United Nations to recognize animals as sentient beings, capable of experiencing pain and suffering, and to recognize that animal welfare is an issue of importance as part of the social development of nations worldwide.This campaign is held by coordination of a core working group Compassion in World Farming, and the Humane Society International.