Animal Action Week Awards UK celebrates two- and four-legged friends
It’s my favourite day because it’s the rare day we go to Parliament not to complain, cajole or encourage but to celebrate and honour the fantastic dedication, commitment and inspiration of Britain’s animal lovers. We even get to celebrate some animals as well. The ceremony is hosted at the House of Lords by Baroness Gale and this year the awards were presented by Queen legend, animal welfare campaigner and friend of IFAW Brian May. Our winners included TV favourite Rolf Harris in recognition of his life’s work with animals and his campaigning against the Canadian commercial seal hunt.
Receiving awards alongside Rolf Harris were Obi, a Metropolitan Police dog which suffered a fractured skull while on duty during this summer’s London riots and Sue Gessey, from Birmingham, who uses alternative healing therapy to rehabilitate neglected and unwanted horses. Badger protection group Badger Watch and Rescue Dyfed was honoured for its work rescuing injured and orphaned badgers and campaigning against badger baiting and culls, while Jenny Clark from Sussex received an education award for running a bat hospital and teaching people of all ages about the need for bat conservation.
Elsewhere, a community award went to Juanita Wilson from Scotland for her tireless work providing sanctuary for hundreds of animals from ferrets to emus at her community farm. Exotic animal rescuer Pam Mansfield from Peterborough won the pet rescue award for her refuge for unwanted pets and zoo animals ranging from snakes to an alligator.
The campaigner award went to Denise Ward from Gloucestershire who reveals the truth about hunting with dogs in her film ‘A Minority Pastime’ while Anne Brummer from Surrey received the wildlife rescue award for treating thousands of injured and orphaned wild animals and birds. Last but not least, another four-legged winner was honoured. Greyhound Danny, who lives in Northants with owner Tony Nevett, won the amazing animal award for his work as a listening dog, helping children improve their reading skills.
This year, we were also lucky enough to have IFAW’s international President Fred O’Regan at the event. He was able to see for himself the passion, dedication and love for animals that is personified by all our honoured winners. My favourite day, indeed. -- RM