Last chance to nominate for prestigious International Canine Health Awards

There are just two weeks left to submit your nominations for the International Canine Health Awards (ICHA), run by the Kennel Club Charitable Trust.

The awards are returning for the eighth year to celebrate some of the world’s finest researchers and scientists whose work has had a positive impact on the health and wellbeing of dogs and anyone wishing to nominate themselves or a peer have until 31st January.

The ICHA include cash prizes totallying £66,000, which are donated by Vernon and Shirley Hill, founders of Metro Bank, to go towards new or continued research. They will be judged by an eminent panel drawn from the veterinary profession and the world of scientific research, including experts in each of the short-listed nominees’ selected fields.

The International Canine Health Awards are:

  • International Prize in Canine Health – for outstanding contributions in the field of canine health and welfare, with a prize fund of £40,000 for future projects. The award will be presented to one or more individuals who are currently involved in world class innovation but with much still to contribute.
  • Lifetime Achievement Award – this award will go to a veterinarian or scientist working in a related discipline wo has dedicated much of their career to advancing the health and welfare of dogs. The award will be presented to an individual who has made a significant impact on the world stage of canine health and welfare.
  • UK Student Inspiration Awards, which will be split into undergraduate and postgraduate awards, with a prize fund of £10,000 for the postgraduate and £5000 for the undergraduate winner. The awards will be presented to extraordinary students studying at British veterinary school, who demonstrate the potential to significantly advance the frontiers of veterinary medicine and research in the field of dogs.
  • Breed Health Coordinator Award – with a £1,000 prize fund, judges will be looking for individuals from breed clubs or councils who have demonstrated a dedication to supporting health and welfare within their breed over the previous year. Some of the aspects that will be considered include the starting or coordinating of a new project or resource for the breed, such as a health website or health survey, and good communication with the Kennel Club and other key stakeholders.

Last year’s winners included Dr Danika Bannasch, recipient of the International award, who was recognised for her significant contributions to developments in canine genetics. In particular, the development of genetic tests for seven different canine diseases, including the hormonal defect, hyperadrenocorticism and the bone development condition, chondrodystrophy.

Speaking about the award, Danika said: “This is an incredible honour. I have devoted my life to dog genetics, and I hope that in the long run less dogs will suffer from conditions that are preventable by genetics and genetic testing.”

Last year’s other winners were Adrian Baez-Ortega, who won the Postgraduate Student Inspiration Award to help further his research into the evolution of canine transmissible venereal tumours (CTVT), a condition that has infected domestic dogs for the past 8,000 years and is found in around 100 countries worldwide.

After winning the award, Adrian commented: “I feel immensely honoured to have been selected for this award. Canine transmissible venereal tumour is a particularly nasty and painful cancer, normally associated with free-roaming or street dogs, where it is spread through mating. I am really glad the award fund will allow me to gain more knowledge about how CTVT interacts with each tumour’s host dog and which genes allow CTVT to systematically escape the immune system of infected dogs, in the hope that better understanding might lead to better treatment of this disease.”

Dr Andrew Higgins, Chairman of the judging panel and trustee of the Kennel Club Charitable Trust, which runs the awards, said: “The International Canine Health Awards recognises and commends the dedication shown by scientists and veterinarians in the field of dog health.

“We are very grateful for the generous funding from Vernon and Shirley Hill, as well as support from the Kennel Club Charitable Trust, which enables us to celebrate those who work tirelessly for the health and welfare of man’s best friend. We would high recommend that people nominate a peer or colleague, or even themselves, if you feel that they have made, or will make a significant contribution to the health and welfare of dogs.”

Vernon Hill, founder and Chairman of Metro Bank, and whose major gift underwrites the International Canine Health Awards, said: “We are extremely proud to support the International Canine Health Awards again this year. As a dog owner and lover, it’s so important that we celebrate the people who transform and improve the lives of so many dogs across the world. It’s a subject extremely close to our hearts at Metro Bank, and it’s incredible to see how many people, from so many different countries, dedicate their whole lives to their work, and all for the good of the dogs.”

All nominations for the 2020 awards should be made via the online application from the Kennel Club website by 31st January 2020 at www.thekennelclub.org.uk/ICHA.

If you have any queries with regards to the application process you can contact Andrea Harris at the Kennel Club via icha@thekennelclub.org.uk.