Animal Conservation

The RSPCA called out nearly 200 animal welfare concerns at Appleby Horse Fair 2022

Nearly 200 animal concerns were raised at the Appleby Horse Fair, as confirmed by the RSPCA, with two cases potentially leading to prosecution.

Each year, organizations come together for the four-day gathering to help, educate and check on the welfare of the hundreds of animals in attendance. While the majority of horses are treated impeccably, the RSPCA says 184 animal welfare incidents were reported over the weekend.

The incidents include eight warnings to horse owners who were unfit for work due to exhaustion or injury, as well as some who were simply too young. Cumbria Police were also on hand to help with any animal issues and they seized seven horses, eight puppies and three chickens.

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The RSPCA also said they had to deal with the beating of some horses and had to deal with a pair of owls which were found in a nearby village.

Owlet found in a village near Appleby

RSPCA Chief Inspector Beth Clements said: “Unfortunately we have been called upon to deal with several animal welfare issues at Appleby, involving injuries to some of the horses, mishandling and even beatings on some horses, some entangled in harness or rope, and riding or overexerting horses, which were by then exhausted.

“It’s a real shame that every year a few horse owners and riders let the whole fair down. During the four day event, we treated a large number of horses brought in by their owners for advice or medical treatment. for minor injuries or problems.

“However, the police also seized seven horses, eight puppies and three chickens following welfare concerns, and released them into our care.

“We will review these situations in more detail now and are investigating two cases that could lead to prosecution.

“Two stray dogs were brought to us and have now been taken care of by the local dog sitter, and we were even called about two young owls who were found in a nearby village.”

The teams who were on hand to offer welfare advice, support and education to the hundreds of horses brought to the fair, in conjunction with equine charities British Horse Society, Blue Cross, Bransby Horses, The Donkey Sanctuary, Oak Tree Animals Redwings Horse Sanctuary and World Horse Welfare – plus a group of veterinarians.