January 13, 2020

City of London Corporation honoured with major RSPCA accolade

More than 80 local authorities and public sector organisations as well as three individuals across England have been recognised by the RSPCA for pioneering animal welfare work.

At a ceremony in London public sector organisations were recognised for their outstanding achievement in animal welfare, including the much anticipated announcement of the winners of the prestigious Innovator in Animal Welfare Award.

Two police officers – one from South Yorkshire and another from Northumbria – and London Borough of Wandsworth’s Animal Welfare Services Manager were applauded or their individual dedication to animal welfare in their areas.

Rachel Williams, senior parliamentary advisor for the RSPCA, said: “The RSPCA’s PawPrints are the only awards that recognise the hard work of local authorities, social housing providers and public sector bodies across England and Wales, to improve animal welfare. This year there were 81 organisations and local authorities that went home with an award as well as three people. It was a huge success.

Now in its 12th year, the awards included five PawPrint categories, awarded at either bronze, silver or gold standards, to recognise achievements in Stray Dog Services, Contingency Planning, Housing Policy, Animal Activity Licensing and Kennelled Dog Welfare.

Since the RSPCA PawPrint Awards began, almost 1,000 accolades have been given, recognising and celebrating public service organisations that go above and beyond to ensure high animal welfare standards in their communities.

Rachel said: “It has been a pleasure to watch the scheme grow over the years and celebrate countless initiatives from the most dedicated public service organisations and their staff. These awards have can include anything from pioneering initiatives to see more stray dogs safely into kennels, schemes to safeguard pets whose owners have been taken into care and housing policies that allow tenants to share their home with their pets.”

A Special Recognition accolade has been awarded to three individuals. PC Peter Baker of Northumbria Police, PC Sam Bush of South Yorkshire Police and Mark Callis, Animal Welfare Services Manager at London Borough of Wandsworth, have all been named winners of the prestigious award – nominated by RSPCA inspectors and staff in recognition of their substantial impact on animal welfare in their area.

Last night, the prestigious ‘Innovator in Animal Welfare’ title was awarded to the City of London Corporation, for their work developing the only training course currently existing for licensing officers operating in England under the Animal Welfare (Licensing of Activity Involving Animals) (England) Regulations. This course, which staff from City of London developed from scratch on top of their day jobs, is the only course which allows licensing staff to get the necessary qualification to inspect animal premises, like pet shops and boarding kennels.

Rachel added: “The work that City of London have done to develop this course, on top of extremely busy day jobs, is exemplary. Without this course there would simply be no one able to enforce the new Regulations. It is having a very clear impact on animal welfare not just in London but across England. City of London and their hard working staff are very worthy winners of our 2019 Innovator Award.”

The awards were once again supported by the Local Government Association, along with the Chartered Trading Standards Institute and the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health.