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Tony Banks honoured with prestigious Animal Welfare award

Lyndsey Lavender, the BUAV’s Interim CEO presents Lady Stratford with the Lord Houghton Award for Animal Welfare in the memory of her late husband, Tony Banks MP - later Lord Stratford - who was dedicted to animal welfare issues throughout his long parliamentary career.

The late Lord Stratford, better known as Tony Banks, has been posthumously awarded the Lord Houghton Award for services to animal welfare. The award will be presented to his widow Lady Stratford in Parliament by the British Union for the Abolition of Vivisection (BUAV) in recognition of his tireless campaigning work.

Tony Bank’s widow, Lady Stratford, accepted the award on her late husband’s behalf at a meeting of the Parliamentary All-Party Group on Animal Welfare (APGAW) in the House of Commons on Monday 17 July.

Tony Banks was a lifelong advocate of animal rights and one of Parliament’s most vocal and uncompromising defenders of animals. A committed vegetarian, Tony Banks worked closely with a number of animal protection groups, and his passing in January 2006 was greatly mourned.
The Lord Houghton Award is made each year in recognition of an individual’s outstanding contribution to animal welfare. Nomination of the recipient rotates annually between its four sponsoring organisations. It was presented this year by Lyndsey Lavender, the BUAV’s Interim CEO on behalf of all the sponsoring groups. Mike Hobday of the League Against Cruel Sports l also attended the presentation.

Lady Stratford said: "Tony was committed to the welfare of animals. In fact, he often declared that he preferred animals to people! Tony’s passionate opposition against any form of animal cruelty was a driving force in our life. I am very proud of Tony and all that he stood for and it is an honour to receive this award.

"Tony very much enjoyed his short time in the House of Lords and I am convinced that he would have continued campaigning and securing vital parliamentary and media coverage for the protection of animals. His main focus for 2006 was to see an end to the annual Canadian Seal Hunt, which this year resulted in the deaths of over 325,000 baby seals, a campaign that I have taken up in his name."

Chris Deacon, Chair, BUAV, said: "With the passing of Tony Banks the animal protection movement lost one of its strongest advocates and greatest friends. His was a lifetime of tenacious and irrepressible campaigning for the rights of animals. On behalf of the entire animal protection community, the BUAV are honoured to present the Lord Houghton Award to Lady Stratford."

The Lord Houghton Award for Animal Welfare was established in 1979, as an acknowledgement of Lord Houghton of Sowerby’s support for and dedication to animal welfare. The award was launched by the British Union for the Abolition of Vivisection (BUAV), League Against Cruel Sports, National Anti-Vivisection Society and Advocates for Animals. This Award is made annually by each of the sponsoring societies in turn to someone who has in some way given outstanding service to animal welfare. The presentation of the Award fell this year to the BUAV.