Lush has named the winners of the 2024 Lush Prize, the largest prize fund in the non-animal testing sector, with a prize fund of more than $470,000 for individuals and organisations across the world making strides towards ending or replacing animals.

Among the winners was New South Wales MP for the Animal Justice Party, Emma Hurst, who received one of the non-financial Political Achievement Awards for advocating for political reform for animal welfare. 

Established in 2012 and presented biannually, the Lush Prize has awarded over $5 million to 130 global winners in the fields of science, training, public awareness, lobbying and research since its inception. In addition to the five main prize categories are three Recognition Awards for Political Achievement, Health Charity Project and Major Science Collaboration. 

The Political Achievement Award is presented to elected political officials from across the world in recognition of the essential work they do to create lasting legal change for animals and science.

Hurst received this award for achieving reform in relation to the use of animals in experimentation in NSW. In just 4.5 years in Parliament, her efforts include passing a ‘right to release’ law, also known as Buddy’s Law for the beagle that inspired it. This ensures that all cats and dogs in Australia used for experimentation must be rehomed within three years.

She has also launched a parliamentary inquiry exposing the cruel reality behind animal experimentation in NSW, championed critical reform recommendations, obtained $7 million in NSW government funding for rehoming animals and finding alternatives to animal experimentation and passed a Bill to ban forced swim and smoke inhalation experiments. 

Of receiving the award, Hurst said, “We’ve stopped some of the cruelest experiments and researchers from killing healthy cats and dogs in animal experimentation. But this is the tip of the iceberg. There is more to do and this recognition of our work by Lush has given my team the boost to keep charging forward.

“To have global recognition from a brand like Lush will help get the word out across the world about our legislative changes, and I truly hope that it inspires other political leaders to make the same changes to law that we have. A big thank you to Lush for this award and for their work in building a better world for animals.”

Lush Prize director, Rob Harrison commented, “Our judges were impressed with just how much regulatory change Emma had helped to generate in her four and a half years in the New South Wales Parliament. From formal bills passed to instigating parliamentary enquiries and to attracting funding for alternatives, Emma has demonstrated to the rest of the world just how quickly progress can be made when the political will and drive is there.”

The Lush Prize awards evening, held in London, also saw prizes worth a total of over $470,000 handed to other campaigners, scientists and young researchers from around the world.