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International Animal Rights Day

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8th International Animal Rights Day (IARD)
10th December 2005

Campaigners outside Sheffield University
Campaigners outside Sheffield University.

On the 8th International Animal Rights Day - 10 December 2005 - hundreds of animal advocates across the world held candlelit vigils at establishments involved in animal experiments, farming, bloodsports, and other forms of animal exploitation & cruelty. Protesters lit candles to remember animals that have suffered abuse at the hands of humans, and to call for animals to be afforded basic rights not to be harmed, exploited or killed for human 'benefit'.

Other groups and individuals took to the streets in towns and cities in order to raise awareness of 'animal rights', how they are routinely abused, and raise petitions calling for the basic rights of animals to be recognized in accordance with the Universal Declaration of Animal Rights.

This was also a great opportunity to demonstrate that 'animal rights' is a rational, peaceful philosophy - contrary to how it is increasingly portrayed in the media.

International Animal Rights Day (IARD) was conceived and is co-ordinated by British animal protection organization, Uncaged Campaigns. In the most widely supported IARD ever seen since it's inception 8 years ago over 40 events took place across the UK, plus 6 in Ireland, 16 in France, 10 in Italy, 2 in Switzerland, and further events in the Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, Russia, Israel, the USA, Mexico, Argentina, Nigeria, South Africa, New Zealand and Australia.

Italian IARD Vigil
IARD vigil in Italy.

Every event - from Sydney to Sheffield - had two key aims in common:

  • the promotion of informed and rational debate about humanity relationship with other animals
  • the proclamation of basic rights of all animals not to be deliberately exploited, harmed and killed

UK Actions

There were candlelit vigils at the following UK universities that are involved in animal experiments: Leeds, Bradford, Sheffield, Nottingham, Southampton, and Manchester. Vigils were also held at Huntingdon Life Sciences, Pfizer Pharmaceuticals in Kent, Harlan UK in Leicestershire - all vivisection facilities.

IARD vigil outside Harlan UK in Leicestershire
Vigil outside Harlan UK in Leicestershire.

Vigil at Yarmouth greyhound track Greyhound Action UK co-ordinated a series of vigils at greyhound stadia in the UK.

Walthamstow, Swindon, Glastonbury, Yarmouth and Coventry dog tracks witnessed well-attended vigils that made a real impact with punters and media alike.

Cancer Research UK shops, Kentucky Fried Chicken outlets, and battery farms were also the subjects of peaceful candlelit protests that drew a good deal of media attention.

Vigil organised by Jan Yarker's group (Passive Pressure) outside Cancer Research UK shop in BromleyCampaign stalls and leafleting blitzes in town and city centres raised a great deal of awareness about 'animal rights' and sought to redress the negative and false preconceptions people have about these two words.

Many of these were reported in the local media; and dozens of letters about the day of action and concepts behind it were published in newspaper letters pages.

Vigils in Yarmouth (top right) and Bromley (bottom).

18 events in France and Switzerland were co-ordinated by our friends at International Campaigns:

"In France, there was an increase in the number of actions in comparison with IARD 2004, with the participation of 15 local groups and about 100 people. Tens of thousands of animal rights oriented leaflets were handed to the public throughout France as well as in Switzerland (Geneva and Neuchatel) and in Luxembourg City.

IARD vigil in Paris, France
IARD vigil in Paris, France.

Several information stalls throughout France (Paris, Grenoble, Laval, Lyon, Nantes, Marseilles, Montpellier and Strasbourg) displayed pictures and videos of animals abused in: vivisection laboratories for cruel experiments, in farms for meat and milk. some groups focused more on the foie gras and fur markets because these two industries are at their peak in winter times. Hundreds of leaflets were distributed and hundreds of people signed up to the Universal Declaration of Animal Rights.

Campaigners in Luxembourg, IARD 2005
Photographs from an article published in the Luxembourg Wort on 12.12.2005 about the events in Luxembourg for IARD.

Things are moving slowly but surely for animal rights in France as more campaigns and local actions for animal rights are being set up in this country."


"Our joint candlelit vigil with Irish Antivivisection Society (IAVS) to support IARD was a tremendous success for the second year running. We had another huge turn out along with ARAN's 'chicken' (Henrietta) who waved to many passers by and led our joint march from Dail Eireann (Irish government buildings) to Dublin's busiest shopping street, Grafton Street. We made a huge impact and gave out hundreds of postcards and leaflets." aran.blogs.ie

Candlelit vigil in Dublin, Ireland
Candlelit vigil in Dublin, Ireland.


"On the 10th December we had a gathering in Herzlia in order to remember the Animal Rights Day. During the evening we had lighted candles, handed out printed leaflets and invited other people to take a part in the event and light a candle with us." Pictures and a report (in Hebrew)

Candlelit vigil in Herzlia, Israel
Candlelit vigil in Herzlia, Israel.

The Netherlands

"The demo went well, with about 30 people. It was held in front of Parliament, and we symbolic lit candles for all the animals that died in 2005 all over the world, but especially in Holland. And we placed a wreath in front of the building. Because the parliament building is in the middle of the city centre of The Hague, lots of people saw us and we distributed hundreds of leaflets." www.edev.nl

Demonstration in front of the parliament building, The Hague, Netherlands
Dutch campaigners in front of the parliament building, The Hague, Netherlands.


"On International Animal Rights Day Bite Back conducted an information stall in the centre of Hasselt (Belgium). Several activists in animal costumes (Vicky the fox, Leo the lion, Sally the Beagle and Rex the rabbit) asked the shoppers to sign the Universal Declaration of Animal Rights, and within a couple hours more than 450 people had done so." www.biteback.be

Shoppers signing the Universal Declaration of Animals' Rights in Hasselt, Belgium
Shoppers signing the Universal Declaration of Animal Rights in Hasselt, Belgium.


"Anima organised an event in front of the Japanese garden in Bueno Aires City, with a public information table, with leaflets and posters to raise awareness about animal cruelty and how people can be a part of ending it. Activists from Latin America and Europe were joined by the Vegan Branch Party, who brought a wide range of delicious vegan food. Speeches about respecting other sentient creatures, and the importance of IARD were followed by an amazing exhibition of Kung Fu from the School of Ecologist Dragons took place. After 4 hours the activists gathered under the vegan peace flag, which "waved firm, secure and vital like our convictions, under the impressing December sky in Buenos Aires." www.anima.org.ar

Argentinian activists gather under the vegan peace flag and watch a Kung Fu exhibition
Argentinian activists gather under the vegan peace flag and watch a Kung Fu exhibition.

Related links:

Uncaged Campaigns 06.02.06


Uncaged 1993-2012: This is the archived website of Uncaged. All information correct at the time of archiving - November 2012.