Winners of the RSPCA Honours awards were presented with their prizes by actor and television presenter Brian Blessed during a special ceremony on September 3 at the RSPCA’s HQ in Southwater, West Sussex.
inners of the RSPCA Honours awards were presented with their prizes by actor and television presenter Brian Blessed during a special ceremony on September 3 at the RSPCA’s HQ in Southwater, West Sussex.
RSPCA Honours is now in its second year and includes:
- awards for special merit and ability amongst the society’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’s winners included chief inspector Rob Melloy of the North region, who was presented with the Gordon Jones Award, partly for his services in ensuring the welfare of animals at the annual Appleby Horse Fair.
Inspector Dave McAdam was presented with the Dave Millard Award for exemplary special investigation. Inspector McAdam’s approach to investigation was illustrated after an owner whose cat was subject to offences under the Animal Welfare Act wrote to him expressing her thanks for the professional and caring way that he dealt with the situation.
The William Wilberforce Award, named after one of the RSPCA’s founding members, was presented to Jill Robinson from Animals Asia, who has worked tirelessly to end the practice of farming black bears for their bile in Asian countries and setting up sanctuaries for those bears rescued from a life of misery.
Other award recipients included:
- Emma Campbell and Martin Phillis, who became joint recipients of the Elsie MJ Evans Bronze Award for helping to rescue a dog from being violently attacking in the street by his owner. The owner was subsequently prosecuted.
- Freelance journalist Danny Penman, who received an award for special investigation, having worked undercover on several animal welfare stories, including the Canadian seal hunt, conditions in British circuses and the fur industry. He has ensured a higher profile for these issues and helped towards the conditions being improved for the animals themselves.
In presenting the awards, Brian Blessed, who is a vice-president of the RSPCA, said: “My support for the work of the RSPCA is long-standing. The society’s vision is to have a world in which all humans respect and live in harmony with members of the animal kingdom and it believes, as do I, that how we treat animals defines us not only as people but also as a society.
“I am pleased to be involved with RSPCA Honours, which recognises extraordinary people who have transformed the lives of many, many animals and are a true inspiration to us all.”