Celebrating inspiring animal lovers at IFAW’s 2017 Animal Action Awards!

IFAW's 2017 Animal Action Awards Winners at the House of Lords

It’s our favourite time of year again at IFAW UK…. the Animal Action Awards! This is when we get to meet with and celebrate the amazing work of another group of true heroes, all of whom have gone above and beyond to help animals.

Our annual Animal Action Awards in the House of Lords honour incredible people who have given  huge amounts of time and energy to make a positive difference for animals. People who have chosen to not just sit by and do nothing, people who saw hope when others saw despair.

The Awards are our chance to say thank you to these unsung heroes for all that they do for animals, often around the clock and in challenging circumstances. We often find ourselves at Westminster calling for change and having to talk about negative behaviour towards animals, so it’s truly uplifting to be in the room with so many positive examples of animal welfare in action.

Now in its 18th year, today’s 2017 awards were no different. We enjoyed fantastic speeches from conservationist, broadcaster and British broadcasting legend Bill Oddie, as well as from our gracious host Baroness Gale.

From otter conservation to hedgehog rescue, the tales of our winners’ work were truly inspiring and a great motivation to us all.

As often happens, the four-legged winner stole the show, and all eyes were on our Animal of the Year, Finn the police dog, who bravely chased a suspect and defended his handler despite suffering horrific knife wounds to the head and chest. Fortunately this remarkable animal made a swift recovery and IFAW continues to proudly support the ‘Finn’s Law’ campaign set up to call for heavier sentences for attacks on service animals.

Thank you to all of the winners for everything you have done and continue to do for animals, and, in Finn’s case, for everything he does for humans! We had over 400 nominations from the public and shortlisting just 10 winners was no easy task. In an ideal world we’d give an award to all of the nominations and we recognise that today’s winners represent just a snapshot of some of the amazing and dedicated British public who give so much to help animals. It was so moving today to see our winners collect their well-deserved awards.

Here’s the full list of this year’s winners:

Bernie Langfield from Liverpool won our Equine Welfare Award for rescuing neglected horses and ponies and offering healing equine therapy to troubled youngsters and adults.

Schoolgirl Lucy Gavaghan from Sheffield won our Youth Campaigner Award for her campaigns to improve the welfare conditions of farmed chickens.

Hilary Baxter from Cheshire won our Lifetime Achievement Award for rehoming more than 4,000 dogs and 5,000 cats.

David Webb from North Devon won our Conservation in Action Award for his work to protect otters and publicise their plight.

Mark Moseley from London won our Innovation Award for developing an ivory fingerprinting kit which is now being used to combat the illegal ivory trade and save elephants.

Jim and Jude Ashley from Shropshire won our British Wildlife Award for their tireless efforts to protect badgers from cruelty and culling.

Jo Hinde from Hampshire won our Animal Advocate Award for her work to improve welfare conditions for pet rabbits and to educate owners and veterinary professionals about their complex needs.

Dr Toni Bunnell from North Yorkshire won our Hedgehog Rescue Award for her work rescuing sick and injured hedgehogs.

Krista Langley, also from North Yorkshire, won our Wildlife Rescue Award for running a wildlife rescue and rehabilitation centre that has saved thousands of wild birds and animals.

Finn the German Shepherd from Hertfordshire won our Animal of the Year Award for bravely defending his handler PC Dave Wardell in a knife attack, leading to a campaign for stronger sentencing for attacks on service animals.

--PM

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