THE RSPCA is presenting one of its highest awards to an Oxford theologian in honour of his work on animal issues.

Reverend Prof Andrew Linzey will receive the Lord Erskine award at a ceremony to be held at the RSPCA headquarters in Horsham today.

Prof Linzey, considered to be one of the world’s leading ethicists on the status of animals, is the founder and the director of the Oxford Centre for Animal Ethics and a member of the Faculty of Theology in the University of Oxford.

He said: “This is a tremendous affirmation of the work we have been doing at the Oxford Centre for Animal Ethics.

“I am happy to accept this award on behalf of all the fellows of the centre who are pioneering ethical perspectives on animals.”

RSPCA chief executive Mark Watts said: “Andrew has pioneered a pro-animal attitude in the Church of England and organised a conference that focused on the links between cruelty to animals and violence to humans.

“The RSPCA is here for the greater good of animal welfare and these awards recognise the extraordinary people who are integral to the success of the society.”