“Our cause is just and will prevail”

Joan Court joined with Quakers during World War II and received the RSPCA’s Lord Erskine Award in 2008. Her news appeared many times in the QCA magazine over the years.

Many will remember her as a significant figure in the animal rights movement, innovative, indomitable and tenacious; always generous with her time and energy.

A crew member of Sea Shepherd, she worked tirelessly against live export and as an activist with Animal Rights Cambridge, campaigning bravely and passionately for animals in UK labs, not least SPEAK – Stop Primate Experiments at Cambridge.

Joan was for many years a committee member of Quaker Concern for Animals, latterly a life member, and we were happy to support the Phone Line she had set up in Cambridge, a means by which members of the public who had urgent problems with a suffering animal, or simply a request for information, could get her direct attention and help.

The fact that Joan has now moved on to the next world will not stop her work for animals and against cruelty, and I am quite sure that she will be continuing to work and inspire from the other side!

—QCA member Sonia Waddell. Read Sonia’s tribute in full.

A sad day for us in Cambridge and for the whole Animal Rights community. Joan has died, very peacefully with one of her beloved cats on her bed with her. We can mourn her passing but what she would most like us to do is get out there and get truly active. She was such a fearless lady – lets show the world we are still a force to be reckoned with. It’s an end of an era but her mission will carry on and one day the animals will get the rights they deserve. Please light a candle for Joan, something she always did to guide friends, human and non-human, on their way.

—from Animal Rights Cambridge Facebook page


She was a truly inspirational animal advocate, so much loved and missed. Joan did so much for a host of animal causes. 

—Rev. Feargus O’Connor, secretary of The World Congress of Faiths

Andrew Tyler’s tribute on Animal Aid’s website.