LAHORE (Staff Report) – On World Animal Day, WWF-Pakistan highlighted the need to raise the status of animals in order to improve their welfare standards across the world. The concept of animal well being aims to promote their conservation in the wild as well as reveal cruelty towards them in captivity.
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World Animal Day is an international day of action for animal rights and welfare celebrated annually on October 4. According to Rab Nawaz, Senior Director Biodiversity, WWF-Pakistan, ‘On this day, lets aim to celebrate animal life in all forms and their relationship with humankind. It is important to acknowledge the ecological importance of animals, as they bring us closer to nature. There is a dire need to raise awareness about all animal issues that exist throughout the world.’
According to WWF’s Living Planet Report 2014, global populations of fish, birds, mammals, amphibians and reptiles have declined by 52 per cent in the last 40-year period. Today, animals across the world face potential threats to their survival due to a rapidly increasing global population, wetlands and forests conversion into agricultural lands and construction of new housing colonies. Moreover exotic species of animals pose potential threat to indigenous wildlife and ecosystems and illegal hunting is bringing many species to the verge of extinction.
Speaking on the day, Dr Uzma Khan, Director Species Conservation, WWF-Pakistan said, ‘Wildlife species are declining because of illegal trade, habitat loss and conflict with local communities. This day reminds each individual to be responsible and not purchase wild animals as pets as they may have been illegally acquired, such as turtles, parrots and many bird species. It is also hard to meet their welfare needs. We need to act together to save animals in the wild, look after those that are under our care whether in zoos, research laboratories, working animals, farms or pets.’
World Animal Day aims to reunite the animal welfare movement, translating it into a global force to make the world a better place for animals. Irrespective of nationality, religion, faith or political ideology, all animals should be protected and their conservation should be promoted.