Animal Defenders International (ADI) has announced that it presented multi-talented comedian Ricky Gervais with the prestigious Lord Houghton Award for his high-profile advocacy on animal protection issues, creating awareness in a unique way to worldwide audiences.
“Ricky Gervais is an outstanding and outspoken campaigner for animals who has raised animal protection issues with new and growing audiences,” ADI President Jan Creamer stated in a Press Release issued by the organization. “This award is in recognition of the longstanding and passionate role Ricky plays in giving animals a loud and powerful voice.”
Gervais, who is an outspoken advocate on several animal issues including trophy hunting, blood sports and animal experiments, said upon receiving the award, “I am honored to receive the Lord Houghton Award for a cause so close to my heart. The suffering of animals absolutely sickens me and I will continue to speak out and support the sterling work of organizations like Animal Defenders International.”
According to the release, “This presentation of the 2016 Lord Houghton Award to Ricky was delayed for the completion of a record-breaking 18-month rescue mission in South America. ADI rescued over 100 wild animals from circuses and the illegal wildlife trade in a mission to assist the governments of Peru and Colombia with enforcement of their new laws ending the use of wild animals in circuses. Native wildlife such as bears, monkeys, birds and others were rehomed in Amazon sanctuaries, a tiger to a sanctuary in Florida and 33 Africa lions were rehomed to their native Africa.”
Currently on tour with his ‘Humanity’ show, the multi-talented comedian, writer and producer, has been a supporter of ADI for many years.
The organization also pointed to Gervais’ support for proposals to uplist the African lion to Appendix I (greatest protection) during last year’s CITES conference in Johannesburg.
“The survival of the African lion hangs in the balance. We must stop blood-thirsty hunters from decimating our wildlife for a barbaric adrenaline rush or trophy piece to show off to their mates,” he said at the time.
Sadly, as per ADI, fierce opposition from lion bone/body part traders fought off lion protection this time, but the campaign continues.
The Lord Houghton Award was initiated in 1980 as a lasting recognition of the significant contribution made by Lord Houghton to the animal welfare movement. Lord Houghton played a key role in British politics as an elected Member of Parliament, Minister, Parliamentary Labour Party Chair and member of the House of Lords. During his long parliamentary career, he was a passionate animal welfare advocate, actively campaigning for changes in legislation to bring about improvements in animal welfare, even into his nineties.
Every year, one of the following four participating organizations selects the recipient of the award: Animal Defenders International, OneKind, Cruelty Free International and League Against Cruel Sports.
ADI presented the award to legendary Emmy Award Winning TV host Bob Barker in 2012.
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