We welcome new Ambassadors to our team on a regular basis, all of them keen to be part of this global movement to bring about change for animals. Through increased awareness and education, we can help create a new culture of respect and sensitivity to make this world a fairer place for all animals. I’ve found it particularly encouraging to learn that, since their appointment, many Ambassadors have found it easier to gain political and media attention for animal issues in their country.
We are frequently approached by animal advocates offering their services as an Ambassador which is yet another strong endorsement of the fact that the power held by World Animal Day is widely recognised. Meet our team of Ambassadors.
Our two most recently appointed Ambassadors are Bob Kerridge who is Executive Director of Auckland’s SPCA in New Zealand, and Tozie Zokufa who, although based in Kenya, will be covering Africa helping to connect our Ambassadors throughout the entire continent and aiding in the appointment of further Ambassadors in countries that are not yet represented.
What some of our Ambassadors have to say about World Animal Day
CYPRUS – Stella Stylianou - Animal Rescue & Protection Association (ARGOS)
Animal awareness in Cyprus was non-existent before the World Animal Day events began. With each year that we celebrate, awareness grows and attitudes are slowly changing as people begin to see animals in a different light.
One of the most significant statements that will forever remain imprinted in my mind was when a local village farmer visited me at the shelter following one of our events. A German Shepherd dog had wandered onto his farm and he brought him to our shelter. He said that in years past, he would have shot any stray dog on his farm, dig a hole and bury it and that would be that but, he continued, “you are doing something truly wonderful and now I cannot bring myself to do such a thing.”
LIBERIA – Morris Darbo - Liberia Animal Welfare & Conservation Society
The celebration of World Animal Day is vital in helping animals in Liberia where they are considered to be a commodity and property rather than sentient beings and the issue of animal welfare is still seen as a new phenomenon. To set aside a day for celebrating animals means a lot to people here, it tells them that animals are important and have values, and as such should be treated with respect and compassion.
TAIWAN – Connie Chiang - Taiwan Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals
The celebration of World Animal Day creates an important media and public awareness message. A message that powerfully shows animal protection as a global movement and that everyone has the responsibility to care and respect animals. Becoming an Ambassador for Taiwan has also helped us to gain more respect from the government and the public, and has given us the drive to spread the message further and further each year.
ASIA – Jill Robinson – Animals Asia (Founder & CEO)
With her wealth of knowledge and expertise on Asian animal welfare issues, Jill very kindly advises our Ambassadors throughout Asia as and when required. Jill says: “Thanks to World Animal Day and the incredible platform it gives our projects each year, we are slowly but surely raising the status of animals in Asia. Our work continues to help and protect them all and create a world where animals are no longer exploited.”
- Amina Abaza, who heads the Society for the Protection of Animal Rights in Egypt (SPARE), has used World Animal Day to successfully lobby for the addition of a clause about animal welfare in the new Egyptian Constitution.
- Another ground-breaking event achieved by SPARE was held at Cairo University’s Faculty of Veterinary Medicine where animals are used in education. Attended by professors, students, the Dean and Vice Dean of the Faculty, and other dignitaries, speeches were made by the President of the Egyptian Veterinary Association and representatives of several, highly-respected animal welfare NGOs to increase awareness about alternatives to the use of animals in education and a film was shown about animal suffering throughout the world.
- Both Animals Lebanon and AnimaNaturalis Colombia have achieved a Municipal Resolution that requires the Secretariats of the Environment and Civic Culture to commemorate World Animal Day each year, which is helping tremendously to raise awareness among citizens about the ethical treatment of animals.
- The Sudanese Animal Care & Environmental Organisation’s greatest achievement is the introduction of animal protection legislation by the Sudanese parliament. Much of the work to achieve this magnificent goal is attributed to increased awareness of animal welfare issues brought about by World Animal Day. NEPAL - KHAGESHWAAR SHARMA
- The Himalayan Animal Rescue Trust (HART) is delighted that World Animal Day is now being celebrated by government institutions in Nepal, such as the District Livestock Services Office. Khageshwaar Sharma, our Ambassador in Nepal says: World Animal Day events encourage people to work together to sensitise communities, making them aware of the needs of animals they live among, and also of how they can improve their lives. Creating an outlook that respects all animals is a slow process and World Animal Day acts as an annual marker to measure progress.”
- Each year, ADDA Bolivia organises a Mass for Animals which is held at Cochabamba Cathedral. Animals are admitted inside the Cathedral for this special event to raise awareness that ALL God’s creatures have the right to be respected, not just humans. Mass is followed by a procession from the cathedral to the main square where speeches are made and everyone is reminded about World Animal Day and the importance of respecting all animals.
- The Bahamas Humane Society holds events each year including spay/neuter events for cats and dogs. Last year, following an outbreak of distemper when thousands of dogs lost their lives, 5,000 free vaccines were administered to dogs owned by underprivileged residents to mark World Animal Day.
- In Cameroon, the Foundation for Animal Welfare participated in a talk show at the national radio station (CRTV) to discuss the state of animal welfare in the country. FAWCAM also organised two workshops, one for community animal health workers and another to teach donkey owners how to care for their animals properly and the donkeys also benefited from a day of rest!
- In celebration of World Animal Day every year, Animals Asia holds a nationwide event, ‘Cyclists Love Animals’, which has now become a phenomenal success throughout China, growing from year to year and introducing concepts of animal welfare to many people for the very first time. Last year this event attracted the participation of 87 cycling clubs from 20 cities across China. Over 1,800 cyclists rode through their home cities with animal welfare posters on their backs, stopping to collect signatures for a petition from 77,000 people along the way. They reached a further 100,000 people through China’s popular social media platform Weibo. Other events held annually by Animals Asia include a national online photo competition and touring exhibition to raise public awareness about cat and dog welfare.
- Since 2008, AnimaNaturalis in Colombia has organised a variety of events each year. This image is of a march that was organised with the support of other organisations which was followed by an awareness event attended by hundreds of people.
- In 2014, at the request of the village chief, Safe Environment for All (SEA), in the Democratic Republic of Congo, organised a meeting in a village located in the middle of the Virunga national park. More than 100 citizens of North Kivu province attended this important meeting to discuss critical environmental issues that are affecting the area such as: the drilling of Oil in the Virunga national Park - the last refuge for the country’s mountain gorillas; certain species of fish in Edward Lake that are threatened with extinction, primarily due to pollution from mining activities, and the ongoing battle against poaching endangered gorillas and elephants.
- In Costa Rica, over 9,000 people attended a march organised by Arca de Noe galvanising supporters of many animal welfare groups who are working together to strengthen the country’s animal protection legislation. Arca de Noe also organised a neutering campaign in a small mountain town 1.5 hours from the capital of San Jose where 57 animals were neutered, dewormed, received a health check and postoperative antibiotics.
- Although this image is from 2010, I’ve included it because it’s one of my favourites. It was taken during a 2-week veterinary treatment camp held by the Vet’s Care Organization in Pakistan to provide free care to flood-affected animals.
- And finally, another of my favourite images, Spay Panama, sterilized, dewormed, vaccinated and gave vitamin injections to more than 80% of the dogs and cats belonging to the Emberá Purú Indians, a native tribe who live in the rainforests of Panama.Each year, ADDA Bolivia organises a Mass for Animals which is held at Cochabamba Cathedral. Animals are admitted inside the Cathedral for this special event to raise awareness that ALL God’s creatures have the right to be respected, not just humans. Mass is followed by a procession from the cathedral to the main square where speeches are made and everyone is reminded about World Animal Day and the importance of respecting all animals.