LAHORE - On the eve of World Animal Day, WWF-Pakistan has stressed the need to improve welfare standards for animals 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.

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.

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.”

The 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.

APP adds: Adviser to Chief Minister on Health Khawaja Salman Rafique said on Sunday that the government is determined to defeat dengue which will also be rooted out from Rawalpindi and Multan like Lahore.

He expressed these views during his visit to Multan, on the instructions of the Chief Minister Punjab in connection with dengue control.

Besides chairing a meeting at DCO Office, Circuit House, Salman Rafique also presided over meetings of Emergency Response Committees of Sher Shah Town and Bosan Town with regard to controlling dengue.

He directed officials concerned to pay door to door visits for promoting awareness against dengue. He said that walks should be arranged in schools, colleges and other places while pamphlets regarding preventive measures against dengue should be distributed.

Kh Salman Rafique further directed that trimming of plants and shrubs in parks should be carried out while water pots for birds placed in graveyards should be removed. He warned that no negligence would be tolerated with regard to indoor and outdoor dengue surveillance.

He further directed that carpet spray against dengue should be avoided and only fogging should be undertaken at the places where dengue mosquitoes or larva is detected as unnecessary spray is hazardous to human health as well as ecological system.

He said doctors of only those private hospitals should be allowed treatment of dengue patients who have received training in this field from Dengue Expert Advisory Group (DEAG).

Meanwhile, Health Advisor Kh. Salman Rafique along with Chairman DEAG and Vice Chancellor KEMU Prof. Faisal Masood visited dengue ward of Nishtar Hospital and enquired after dengue patients.