A vet has been recognised for his dedication to animal welfare at the fifth annual RSPCA Honours ceremony, while comedian Ricky Gervais received an award for speaking out against animal cruelty.

Vet Carl Boyde receiving his award from the RSPCA’s chief veterinary officer James Yeates. Image credit: RSPCA

Vet Carl Boyde, from Chertsey, Surrey, was awarded the Lord Erskine Silver honour in recognition of the vital support he has given the RSPCA over a 60-year period, especially with investigations into allegations of animal cruelty.

Actor and comedian Ricky Gervais was presented with the Arthur Broome Bronze Award for speaking out against animal cruelty and championing the work of animal charities to his eight million Twitter followers. 

The campaigning group behind what became known as Harvey’s Law also received the Arthur Broome Bronze Award. Pets killed on Britain’s highways will now be collected, identified and their owners notified, thanks largely to the petition launched by the group, which was signed by more than 100,000 people.

The campaign was launched by Nina Blackburn after her friend Jude Devine’s dog Harvey was killed on the M62 minutes after he went missing in 2013–- only for Jude to find out months later, after spending thousands of pounds searching for her beloved poodle.

A volunteer RNLI crew from Merseyside was also recognised for its brave rescue of a dog in treacherous conditions at New Brighton in February.

The RSPCA’s Interim Assistant Director Inspectorate Dermot Murphy said: “There is no doubting the enormous role played by other organisations, campaigners and tireless individuals to furthering the cause of animal welfare. “The Honours recognise those people from both inside and outside the RSPCA who have gone above and beyond in their contribution to protecting and helping animals. It is thanks to them thousands of animals are able to lead happy and healthy lives today.”

A full list of all the RSPCA Honours winners can be found at www.rspca.org.uk/honours

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