Meet Our Distinguished Award Judges

The Judges

Each year, our eminent judges are given the arduous task of reading through hundreds of nominations which they have to whittle down to finalists and then winners. It is a tough process because of the quality of the people they have to judge and it sometimes leads to heated discussions. A finalist can become a winner due to one small piece of evidence provided by the nominator which makes that tiny bit of difference.

Chris Laurence

From 1968 throughout his career in the veterinary industry and in animal charities, Chris has continually played a key role in animal welfare. Since his retirement in 2002, Chris has been elected as Trustee of the RSPCA. To honor Chris and celebrate his work, we have named our Vet of the Year  Welfare Award after him.

Claire Bessant

Claire has been Chief Executive of International Cat Care for over 20 years after working in veterinary publishing.  She is the author of 10 books on cats and lives with 3 cats at home in Wiltshire.

Marc Abraham

Along with his hours of volunteer work both in the UK and internationally, Marc is a key campaigner for animal welfare reform. He founded his own campaigning organisation Pup Aid to raise awareness of puppy farming in the UK. Marc is also an advisor for several UK animal welfare organisation.

Ginette Bryant

Ginette has worked within the veterinary industry for over 21 years alongside veterinary practices both independent and corporate , national charity partners and associations. Ginette lives with her partner and two mad dogs in Warwickshire. Always very keen on promoting animal welfare and educating those who are interested!

Sarah Fisher

Sarah is a TTouch Instructor, and behaviour counsellor and works with all animals including horses, cats, dogs, exotics and birds. She teaches staff workshops for many of the UK’s top animal rehoming centres and makes regular appearances on TV and Radio. Sarah works with private clients, and teaches around the UK and abroad giving talks, workshops and demonstrations.

Anthony Andrews

After qualifying, Anthony spent over five years in mixed veterinary practice and then undertook the Royal Smithfield Club Fellowship at the Royal Veterinary College and examined bovine teeth development in health and disease. He has been involved in welfare problems and their resolution on farms and is used to provide Expert Opinion in Criminal Court proceedings.

James Yeates

James is Chief Veterinary Officer at the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (UK). He is also Honorary Lecturer at the University of Bristol (UK). James edits the AWSELVA Journal of Animal Welfare Science, Ethics and Law, and has published on animal welfare and ethics topics, including a book on Achieving Animal Welfare in Veterinary Practice.