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Pamela Anderson named PETA's Person of the Year

Pamela Anderson's animal welfare campaigns have helped "open eyes, hearts, and minds," according to PETA's Ingrid Newkirk.

Pamela Anderson has been named the 2016 Person of the Year by campaigners at People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA).

The former Baywatch actress and animal rights supporter has been given the organisation's annual award for promoting kindness to animals, being a role model for the vegan lifestyle and speaking out over the use of animals in circuses.

"Anderson's advocacy for animals helps open eyes, hearts, and minds", said PETA's Managing Director Ingrid Newkirk in an exclusive statement to WENN. "Animals who are in dire need of assistance have a beautiful friend in her, and we are grateful that she takes every opportunity to explain why, as our motto states, 'Animals are not ours to eat, wear, experiment on, use for entertainment, or abuse in any other way.'"

Throughout 2016, Pamela wrote to British Prime Minister Theresa May calling for the ban on wild animals in circuses, called on government officials in Mauritius to tackle the country's stray dog issue, and spoke in French parliament about the ban on foie gras, a product made from the liver of a duck or goose which has been deliberately fattened.

The 49-year-old also offered to cook vegan meals for Louisiana prisoners, called on the Canadian government to prevent seal hunting, held a press conference in Russia to speak out against wearing fur and expanded her vegan shoe collection.

Other stars to have been recognised by PETA this year (16), include Miley Cyrus, who was named Best Voice for Animals by executives of PETA's youth division peta2 for promoting a vegan lifestyle and animal issues on social media, and Blink-182, who were voted the most animal-friendly band of 2016.

Pamela follows in the footsteps of previous Person of the Year winners Morrissey and Ricky Gervais.

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