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International Animal Rights Day

December 1, 2023

December 10th is an important day for us animal lovers: it’s International Animal Rights Day. This is an important topic, and one that we are always happy to help spread awareness about. A San Antonio, TX veterinarian offers some insight into this awareness event and lists some ways to help in this article.


International Animal Rights Day was started back in 1998 by the animal rights group Uncaged. They chose the 10th specifically because it is also Human Rights Awareness Day. The intent was to hopefully inspire people and, in some cases, entire industries, to reconsider their beliefs about animals, and just generally help build a kinder, safer world for our furred, feathered, and scaled friends.


There’s still a long way to go when it comes to animal rights. However, good progress has been made, particularly in the realm of recognizing animals as sentient beings rather than property. Back in 1976, France passed one of the first laws to cover this. Their Law On The Protection Of Nature recognized some animals as sentient. Then, in 2015, they designated animals as ‘living beings gifted with sentience.’ (Formerly, animals in France were categorized as moveable property.)  In 2021, Spain officially recognized animals as sentient beings. The UK followed suit in 2022 with The Animal Welfare (Sentience) Act, which not only recognizes animals as sentient beings but also mandates that their welfare be factored into any future laws and policies. Similar laws have also passed in Peru, New Zealand, and Sweden. 

Speaking of Sweden, they’ve already passed some great animal welfare laws. Back in 2008, they made it illegal to keep animals that are clearly social by themselves. That includes pets, such as Guinea pigs, who get very lonely without buddies.

Getting Involved

There are many ways you can help support international animal rights. One of the most effective is essentially voting with your wallet. Choose products by companies that support conservation efforts and do not test on animals. Going vegetarian or vegan may be a bridge too far for many, but you could consider reducing your consumption of animal products, or going with products from farms that utilize kind, humane practices. Of course, there are also plenty of wonderful charities that are working in this or related fields, such as wildlife protection and conservation agencies. Donations are always welcome, but you can also look into volunteering. Even sharing information on social media can help!

Happy Holidays! Please contact us, your San Antonio, TX animal hospital, anytime!

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North Star Animal Hospital