Top animal welfare award for animal charity

Salisbury Journal: The team from the Worldwide Veterinary Service in Cranborne The team from the Worldwide Veterinary Service in Cranborne

AN international charity based in a small Dorset village has scooped a prestigious award for animal welfare.

The Worldwide Veterinary Service (WVS), based in Cranborne, has been awarded the Jeanne Marchig Animal Welfare Award 2013.

Along with the title the charity is set to receive $20,000 to support their important work around the globe.

Each year, the trustees of the Marchig Animal Welfare Trust get together to award the prize and this year decided to honour vet Luke Gamble, the founder and CEO of WVS.

Mr Gamble established the charity in 2003 and set about co-ordinating teams of veterinary volunteers to help animal welfare organisations, supplying medicines, equipment and advice where they are most needed.

WVS has sent hundreds of volunteer teams to almost every continent of the world over the last decade, including emergency response teams to help frontline animal welfare and protection organisations alleviate the cruelty and suffering inflicted on animals in their areas.

WVS has also sent hundreds of thousands of pounds of free veterinary medicines, equipment and materials sourced from supportive veterinary companies.

Mr Gamble also established an international training centre in India, which provides a platform for both vets in India and worldwide to learn best practice techniques in areas such as humane stray animal population control and vaccination programmes. In addition, this year he spearheaded a new initiative in India entitled Mission Rabies, which aims to undertake mass anti-rabies vaccination programmes in ten hotspots while at the same time running surgical training courses for local vets.

The initial goal of this project was to vaccinate 50,000 dogs against rabies in one month. But with a team of Indian and international vets, local charity workers and volunteers, more than 61,000 dogs were vaccinated in just 28 days.

Announcing the award, the chairman of the trustees Les Ward said: “As in previous years, the trustees of the Marchig Animal Welfare Trust received a large number of nominations for the award from all over the world. With so many worthy candidates, the decision was not easy.

Mr Gamble said: “It is a huge honour to receive this award.”

For more information go to www.wvs.org.uk or call 01725 551123.

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