TWO well known celebrities will launch a new centre for animal welfare in Hampshire.

Heather Mills and Peter Egan will help launch the University of Winchester’s new centre for Animal Welfare.

The centre aims to help studies into into animal welfare– from research, education and associated animal welfare qualifications, to actively engaging in important social debates.

The launch event will have philanthropist, international business entrepreneur and long-standing animal advocate Heather Mills and well-known TV actor and animal cruelty activist Peter Egan sharing their inspiring stories about campaigning for animal welfare.

Heather has won a number of awards for her contribution to animal welfare including being a key figure in creating the first EU law to ban dog and cat fur use throughout Europe in which she received The Humane Society Genesis Award.

She won PETA’s Humanitarian Award in 2005 for her campaign to end the use of dog and cat fur by American clothing company JCrew across the USA, and supports charities such as Retreat Animal Rescue, Farm Sanctuary and VIVA.

Peter is known for his acting and played roles including in Downton Abbey.

He is Patron of Chaldon Animal Sanctuary and an active ambassador for organisations such as All Dogs Matter and the Animals Asia Foundation.

Director of the Centre for Animal Welfare, Professor Knight said: “We are very proud to launch this groundbreaking new Centre for Animal Welfare, which will embody the values of compassion and social justice which are at the heart of the University.”

“Animals are the individuals most consistently denied justice within society. Through the Centre’s seminars, expertise and media commentaries, we hope to encourage the evolution of social consciousness and public policy relating to animals, thereby helping to bring about a better world.”

“Both Peter and Heather are long-term champions of animals.

“We are delighted that they are joining us at our official Launch to describe their own fascinating journeys, and to share their moving accounts of the animals that have had such an impact on them.”

The launch will take place on Saturday at the West Downs Campus from 6pm to 8pm.