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President Sauli Niinistö and his spouse, Jenni Haukio. Picture: Tony Öhberg for Finland Today

Finland’s first lady, Jenni Haukio, received the Thank You From Animals Award (Kiitos eläimiltä -palkinto) on Friday evening in Helsinki at a gala dedicated to the protection of animals (Eläinsuojelugaala).

Ms. Haukio received the award for taking a courageous stand for the welfare of animals. She is known for highlighting problems in animal keeping. She has written about fur farming, farmed animals and the needed reforms in the Finnish Animal Welfare Act.

In her speech, Haukio reminded the listeners in festive attires at the Katajanokka Casino that 70 million farmed animals die yearly.

“Each one of them would have wanted to live,” she said. “If the consumption is reduced, the production will be reduced,” Haukio said while referring to the consumers.

In a statement sent to the media, Haukio says that “even as the welfare of animals is delightfully taken into a better consideration in a more widespread way there are still many problems.” “Thank You From Animals recognition encourages to keep working for those that are defenseless, who don’t have their own voice.”

This was the eight-time the prize was awarded. It was presented by the Finnish Federation for Animal Welfare Associations SEY together with the Finnish Entertainment and Culture Association.