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John Callaghan - A leader in the fight for animal welfare

News Section Icon Published 01/04/2019

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We are deeply saddened to share the tragic news that our friend and former staff member, John Callaghan has passed away.

John served throughout much of the 1990s as our Education Director and produced some excellent educational books on farm animal welfare. But, like all our senior staff, he played a major campaigning role during the mid-nineties when the live animal export protests were at their height.

Campaigning with Compassion against live exports

Shoreham became a key export location when exports were banned at Dover and John became known as ‘Mr Shoreham’.  He was regularly down at the dockside, leading the protests with energy and passion. One of our major supporters wrote to us recently saying:

John was the loveliest person and an inspiration to me and many others. It was his wonderful self-deprecating humour that drew us in to the whole animal welfare world when we met him at Shoreham all those years ago.”

An inspiration to many people

A wonderful communicator, he shared his expertise and love of animal welfare both via the media and by inspiring many people to support the fight for a better life for animals.

After a stint working for World Animal Protection, John returned to us in early 2007 as Director of Programmes and Deputy CEO and we welcomed back his commitment and experience. He left in 2010 and moved back to Somerset to be near to his family.

Those of us who worked with him will always remember his dedication, his gentle heart and wonderful humour.


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If you have any further questions regarding this, or any other matter, please get in touch with us at We aim to respond to all queries within two working days. However, due to the high volume of correspondence that we receive, it may occasionally take a little longer. Please do bear with us if this is the case. Alternatively, if your query is urgent, you can contact our Supporter Engagement Team on +44 (0)1483 521 953 (lines open Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm).