Aug 9, 2006
This year's Zanzibar International Film Festival (ZIFF) was the first event of its kind to highlight animal welfare by promoting the recently launched ‘Animals Matter To Me' global petition.
WSPA was invited to showcase its compelling ‘Animals in Focus’ exhibition, a major photographic display of images of animals from around the world at what is the largest cultural event in East Africa.
The photo exhibition was officially opened by Zanzibar’s Minister of Agriculture, Environment, and Livestock Development, the Honorable Burhan Sadat.
The Honorable Minister publicly signed the ‘Animals Matter to Me’ petition pledging his support to the campaign.
The ‘Animals Matter To Me' global petition will collect ten million signatures to be sent to the United Nations to persuade governments to adopt a Universal Declaration on Animal Welfare.
During the ten day festival, 2,062 visitors from 37 different countries expressed their support for the ‘Animals Matter To Me' campaign by signing the petition at the exhibition.
Celebrities and public figures from around the world who visited the photo exhibition also signed the petition including critically acclaimed film producer and director Melvin Van Peebles.
As one visitor of the photo exhibition remarked:
"Very thought provoking exhibition showing shocking images with photographic skill and beauty. The work you are doing around the world to assist invaluable animals is incredible and it is fantastic that animals are getting the respect that they deserve. Similarly, the work you are doing to sensitize children is incredibly valuable since this is where change begins."
The inclusion of WSPA's animal welfare message at a mainstream cultural event is proof of a changing attitude towards the treatment of animals in society.
As stated by a ZIFF representative: “WSPA has taken an active interest in using our festival to promote their humane message about the need to respect and protect animals that are a part of any country’s heritage.”