British comedian Ricky Gervais has been given an award for using his profile to draw attention to animal welfare issues around the globe. It’s not his first award, and it won’t be his last we’re sure, but it’s one we’re certain will take pride of place for the animal lover.
Speaking about being given the award from Animal Defenders International (ADI) Ricky Gervais said, “I am honoured 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 organisations like Animal Defenders International.”
The comedian, writer and producer, who has over 12 million twitter followers is an outspoken advocate on several animal issues including puppy farming, trophy hunting, dog torture and animal experiments and has been a supporter of ADI for many years.
He was one of the first to show support for their ‘Stop Circus Suffering’ campaign saying of the violence inflicted upon Anne the elephant at Bobby Roberts Super Circus in 2011 that it “graphically displays why the government should ban wild animals in circuses” Ricky said, continuing “I am appalled that wild animals are still kept in circuses and fully support the call for a ban. It is high time that government got on and implemented one.” ADI’s evidence led to a government commitment to ban and a cruelty conviction for Anne’s owner – yet five years later, the government’s bill has still not been presented to Parliament.
ADI President Jan Creamer said: “Ricky Gervais is an outstanding and outspoken campaigner for animals who has raised animal protection issues with new and growing audiences. This award is in recognition of the longstanding and passionate role Ricky plays in giving animals a loud and powerful voice.”