With almost half of adults owning a pet, Britain is truly a nation of animal lovers – and the benefits are clear. New research shows that 83 per cent of pet owners in the UK believe their animals help reduce their stress levels and improve their emotional wellbeing.

 However, few people are aware that working animals are vitally important to the health and survival of people in the world’s poorest communities. These horses, donkeys, camels and other animals help provide millions of impoverished families with a basic income for food, transport to hospital, and other necessities for life, such as water and firewood.

Just like pet owners in the UK, the owners of working animals would be lost without their animals. But hardworking animals in developing countries often have no access to vital veterinary treatment when they are sick or injured.

This World Animal Day (4 October), I’m asking everyone to recognise the value and importance of every single animal, be they the ones we share our homes with, or working animals overseas that support the livelihoods of over half a billion people worldwide.

Please help us to give working animals the care they so desperately need by visiting spana.org/worldanimalday

Geoffrey Dennis

Chief Executive, SPANA (the Society for the Protection of Animals Abroad)

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