Cruelty Free International has presented international superstar violinist Vanessa-Mae with the Lord Houghton Award in recognition of her service and contribution to animal welfare.

Vanessa has passionately worked to help end the suffering of animals in laboratories across the world since becoming Cruelty Free International’s Global Ambassador in 2015.

An enthusiastic advocate of the Cruelty Free International global campaign to end the cruel and unnecessary use of dogs in research, Vanessa was photographed alongside her dog Max by celebrity photographer Rankin in 2015 to help increase awareness about dog experiments.

In 2016, the globally renowned musician voiced her support for ending animal testing in Thailand. The violinist, whose biological father comes from Thailand, used her profile in the country to call on the Thai government to keep its promise of trying to phase out animal testing for cosmetics.

During a series of concerts in Moscow and St Petersburg, the Cruelty Free International Global Ambassador publicly endorsed a cross-party bill to phase out all animal testing for cosmetics and their ingredients in Russia by 2020.

This year, Vanessa performed in front of a collection of delegates at the United Nations to promote the Cruelty Free International campaign for an international end to cosmetics animal testing. The event helped to initiate a dialogue about delivering the UN’s sustainable development goals on responsible production, consumption and innovation in a way that tackles animal suffering and encourages human-relevant science.

Vanessa-Mae, International Superstar Violinist and Global Ambassador of Cruelty Free International, said: “I am delighted to accept this award from Cruelty Free International, an organisation truly at the forefront of animal protection. I have always had a strong affinity with animals and want to do everything I can to highlight their needless suffering in laboratories. Animal experiments are cruel, outdated and unreliable. I look forward to continuing to work alongside Cruelty Free International to make the public aware of the awful atrocities being committed against animals around the world.”

Michelle Thew, CEO of Cruelty Free International, who nominated Vanesa-Mae and presented the award, said: “It’s a pleasure to present the Lord Houghton Award to our Global Ambassador Vanessa-Mae for helping bring the issue of animal experiments to a worldwide audience. Vanessa has used her profile in countries across the world to help us reach even more people who need to hear our message. We want to thank Vanessa for her compassion and commitment and everything that she has done to make this world a better place for animals suffering in laboratories.”

The Lord Houghton Award, launched in 1980, commemorates the significant contribution made to the animal welfare movement by UK politician Lord Houghton. During his long parliamentary career, Lord Houghton was a passionate animal advocate, actively campaigning for changes in legislation to bring about improvements to animal welfare.

The prestigious award is shared with animal protection organisations OneKind, Animal Defenders International, and League Against Cruel Sports. Every year, the participating organisations take turns selecting a worthy recipient. Previous winners include Ricky Gervais, Linda McCartney, Bob Barker, Caroline Lucas MP and David Martin MEP.

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