Opinion Former Article

NOAH: Four-legged heroes honoured

Heroes of a different kind, including police explosive search dog Hubble Keck who received the animal George Cross for his work during the 7/7 bombings, were honoured at The National Office of Animal Health (NOAH)'s Pet Event on Thursday 28 October at the House of Lords.

Hosted by Lord Soulsby of Swaffham Prior, chairman of the Companion Animal Welfare Council, and past president of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons, the event focused on the tireless work of search and assistance animals and called for the value of animals in our society to be recognised and the need to look after all animals responsibly not to be forgotten.

The event, celebrating the 'hero' animals of today, gave attending MPs and peers an insight into the valuable work of assistance, rescue and other working dogs who perform necessary and vital human life-enhancing roles.

Lord Soulsby explained: "These marvellous animals need to be in the best of health to do their jobs. They need to be fit and free from disease."

Phil Sketchley, chief executive of NOAH, said; "We had a very successful event. There are currently over 10,000dogs working in the UK, so we believe it is vital to bring attention to these 'hero' animals, both past and present. We were joined by, amongst others, search and rescue dogs, Pets as Therapy dogs, cancer-detection dogs and assistance animals such as Guide Dogs and Dogs for the Disabled.

"While our hero animal guests here were dogs, we must not forget the benefits that our unsung hero pets back at home bring us - dogs, cats, rabbits, fish. They all deserve our very best care and to be kept in the best possible health.

"The medicines and vaccines researched, developed and marketed by members of NOAH provide safe and effective care for all pets to enable them to enjoy life to the full and carry out their work in society and as family pets as well," he added.

Lord Soulsby, who is also an expert adviser to the UK Government on animal welfare, biotechnology and environmental issues, also welcomed Hounds for Heroes Labrador Endal Junior. The puppy assisted his owner Allen Parton to the event who suffered severe injuries in the Gulf War. Lord Soulsby praised the work of the charity, which works to help men and women who have been injured in the UK Armed Forces and Emergency Services.

For more information visit www.NOAH.co.uk.

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Notes for editors

1. For further information contact Phil Sketchley or Alison Glennon at NOAH on 020 8367 3131, or by email noah@noah.co.uk or look at the NOAH website www.noah.co.uk

2. The National Office of Animal Health was formed on 1 January 1986 to represent UK companies which research, develop, manufacture and market licensed animal health products. In 2009 NOAH's members accounted for around 90% of the UK animal medicines market.

Alison Glennon

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