Bill Oddie presents RSPCA awards
The RSPCA Honours awards will be presented by birdwatcher, broadcaster and conservationist Bill Oddie at a ceremony on Saturday (8 September).
RSPCA Honours is now in its third year and includes awards for special merit and ability amongst the charity’s inspectors; humanitarian awards for those who have made an outstanding contribution in the field of animal welfare; and awards for special investigations.
This year, the winners include David Grant, who, as Director of the RSPCA Harmsworth Animal Hospital, spent 25 years providing an untiring enthusiasm for animal welfare to the charity.
For several years, David and his team worked closely with Rolf Harris on the hugely successful BBC TV series Animal Hospital, which was based at Harmsworth. David will receive the Queen Victoria Gold Medal.
Robert Fuller, a Yorkshire wildlife artist, will be awarded the Elsie MJ Evans Bronze Award which recognises an act of kindness or bravery. Robert was out taking pictures of otters earlier this year when he came across eight men setting their dogs onto a badger. Robert bravely took photos of the gruesome badger baiting, despite being spotted by the group, and asked his friend to call the police.
Thanks to the actions of both Robert and his friend the men were arrested and convicted of badger baiting offences, in what turned out to be one of the most significant cases of this kind in decades.
The Honours aren’t all about the UK as the William Wilberforce Award will be presented to Dr Ssuna from the Lilongwe Society for the Protection and Care of Animals (LSPCA). The LSPCA was set up in 2008 and works closely with the RSPCA. Under Dr Ssuna’s guidance, the LSPCA has set up mobile community veterinary clinics which carry out spay and neuter operations for animals in low income areas. Dr Ssuna’s commitment also helped to get a ban on the shooting of stray animals passed through the Lilongwe City Council.
Finally, a high profile award will go to the actress Doris Day in recognition of her work on pet overpopulation and rehoming which led to the Doris Day Animal League later merging with the US Humane Society and saw Doris dealing directly with politicians on important legislative issues affecting animal welfare.
Bill Oddie said: "I am usually introduced as a conservationist, but I believe that conservation begins with compassion. The RSPCA represents care and love for living creatures. We don’t want them to suffer and we don’t want to lose them, we want to protect and save them. That is conservation."
RSPCA director of communications, David Bowles said: “The Honours are there to recognise those members of the public and RSPCA staff who make a special contribution to protecting and helping animals.
“It is thanks to outstanding people like this that thousands of animals have much better lives.”
Notes to editors
A full list of award recipients is attached.
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