Eurogroup for Animals CEO Reineke Hameleers receives prestigious RSPCA award
The RSPCA’s Impact Awards recognises colleagues who have made a huge impact on animal welfare over the last year by putting the charity’s values into action.
The President’s Award was created to recognise outstanding contribution to animal welfare, created by the RSPCA President, Dr Richard Ryder, who awarded the prestigious accolade to Reineke Hameleers, CEO of Eurogroup for Animals.
Eurogroup for Animals was founded in 1980 to create a lobby in Brussels and Strasbourg to achieve new Europe legislation, uniting animal advocates across Europe to measurably improve the protection of animals. The group challenges decision-makers to bring about positive change, and deliver coordinated advocacy and campaigns at EU level, with Reineke taking the role of CEO in 2013.
I am deeply honoured and thrilled to receive this award. Through my career I realised that to really make an impact on animal welfare we needed to work on systemic and legislative change, the best place to do this would be at European and indeed global level. From here we will continue to accelerate the pace of positive change for animals.
We can’t be complacent, but I truly believe the 21st century will become the century of fundamental change for animals. This award genuinely motivates me to continue the daily battle and never give up - thank you so much for this award, it holds a very special place in my heart.Reineke Hameleers, CEO of Eurogroup for Animals
Reineke is the most deserving winner of this award and deserves every bit of recognition for her outstanding impact on the progression of animal welfare. Under her leadership there has been a steady increase in members and grant applications, and one of its most recent and remarkable successes saw 1.7 million people sign a petition to bring about the end to cages for farm animals. On top of this, we’re looking at a possible European-wide ban on the use of wild animals in circuses, and the exploration of alternatives to animals used in laboratories.
The creation of Eurogroup for Animals was a dream of mine that became a reality back in 1980 when it was first created, but since she has been at the helm, Reineke has developed the organisation from a coalition of 40 members to a tight-knit family of 84 organisations based in 25 of the 27 member states. At the 2021 annual general meeting we welcomed over 150 attendees from over eighty member organisations, all working together to improve animal welfare under the Eurogroup family.
She has grown the group into an organisation that is deeply trusted by politicians and officials in European institutions, who can deliver vital changes. Her recent independent audit among stakeholders found 81% held a favourable view of the group and used and trusted its briefings, and 60% felt it was the most authority voice on animal protection issues in the EU. This is an enormous achievement and something Reineke should be incredibly proud of.Dr Richard Ryder - RSPCA President