Luke Gamble, founder of the Worldwide Veterinary Service (WVS) has been awarded the Jeanne Marchig Animal Welfare Award 2013.
Each year, the trustees of the international grant-making charity, the Marchig Animal Welfare Trust, recognise through its top award individuals or organisations for their outstanding services to animal welfare.
Luke Gamble established the WVS in 2003 to alleviate animal suffering and improve the moral perception of animals worldwide by coordinating teams of veterinary volunteers to assist the work of animal welfare organisations.
Since its inception, WVS has sent many hundreds of volunteer veterinary teams to almost every continent.
Luke Gamble, through WVS, established an international training centre (ITC) in India, which provides a platform for both vets in India and worldwide to learn best practice techniques in areas such as humane stray animal population control and vaccination programmes.
In addition, this year he spearheaded a new initiative in India entitled Mission Rabies, which aims to undertake mass anti-rabies vaccination programmes in 10 hotspots while also running surgical training courses for local vets.
The initial goal was to vaccinate 50,000 dogs against rabies in one month. However, with a team of Indian and international vets, local charity workers and volunteers, more than 61,000 dogs were vaccinated in just 28 days.
Chairman of the trustees Les Ward said: “As in previous years, the trustees of the Marchig Animal Welfare Trust received a large number of nominations for the award from all over the world.
“With so many worthy candidates, the decision was not easy. Nevertheless, in the end the trustees were unanimous that the Jeanne Marchig Animal Welfare Award 2013 should be made to Luke Gamble, the founder and chief executive of the Worldwide Veterinary Service in recognition of his outstanding and tireless practical work over many years in the international field of animal welfare and protection. The award comes with a grant for $20,000.
Luke Gamble said: “It is a huge honour to receive this award and I would like to thank the trustees very much.
“The Marchig Trust has long been a source of inspiration to charities and individuals involved in animal welfare around the world, and for WVS to be recognised in this way is a huge lift to both me and the whole team.
“The pledge is to now direct this fantastic award towards making a difference where it counts – on the front line of animal welfare, championing the united ideals of both WVS and The Marchig Trust.”