Celebrated each year on October 4, dedicated to the patron saint of animals, Francis of Assisi, World Animal Day addresses the plight of animals and promotes work towards their welfare. The day was celebrated for the first time in 1925 by cynologist Heinrich Zimmermann.

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History of World Animal Day

Heinrich Zimmermann had originally organised an event and scheduled it for October 4, but it was later shifted to March 24, 1925 and attended by more than 5000 people at the Sport Palace in Berlin. 

The day became global during a world protection organisation conference in Florence, Italy in 1931. Furthermore, the Finnish Association of Animal Protection Associations held celebrations on World Animal Day and involved school children in various events in 2002. 

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Significance of World Animal Day

World Animal Day is majorly significant because "building the celebration of World Animal Day mobilises people for action now for a better future for animals." World Animal Day contributes majorly towards the welfare of animals. The day primarily focuses on creating awareness about the effects of businesses, individuals and other human behaviours on animals. Also known as ‘Animal Lovers Day’, it works to spread the message of love, care, affection and protection of animals among individuals, business and other members of society. 

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Aim of World Animal Day

According to the website of World Animal Day, it aims to raise the “status of animals and help improve welfare standards across the globe”. It is also about “uniting the animal welfare movement and 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 website adds.