The RSPCA has said they are not afraid to take action after removing two dogs from hot cars at Appleby Horse Fair.
Thousands have descended on the town in Cumbria ready for the fair this year. Numerous warnings have been issued about keeping animals safe ahead of the fair.
The weather this year is expected to be extremely hot and for the past two days temperatures have reached 20C and beyond. On the first day of the fair (June 8), officers from the RSPCA had to remove two dogs from a hot car.
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Rob Molloy, the chief inspector with the RSPCA, confirmed that two dogs had to be removed from hot cars and that officers aren’t afraid to take action. He said: “We had to remove some dogs from a car yesterday and we’ve had a few horses that were working hard and had to issue some warnings.”
Rob said that in particular, they are concerned about day-trippers attending with their dogs because is it exceptionally hot and meant to get hotter tomorrow.
He said: “They bring their dogs and then they realise it’s not a great environment for them. It’s very hot, very crowded and busy and they get tempted to go back and put their dogs in the car and it’s hot. We have a zero-tolerance policy, we will remove dogs from hot cars.”
Nine animal welfare charities – who are all members of the National Equine Welfare Council (NEWC) – work together at Appleby to support the protection and wellbeing of the horses at the event. The collaboration, called Appleby Horse Fair Equine Welfare Project, is made up of the RSPCA who are sending 34 people this year; Redwings Horse Sanctuary who are sending nine; Blue Cross who are sending eight; World Horse Welfare who are sending eight; Bransby Horses who are sending six; The British Horse Society who are sending three; The Donkey Sanctuary who are sending three; Oak Tree Animals who are sending two and The Horse Trust.
Staff from the collaboration – all members of the National Equine Welfare Council (NEWC) – will be identifiable by armbands reading ‘Everyone has a voice’. They will be having conversations with as broad a range of people as possible to understand what they would like to see over the next five years.
Any fairgoers who wish to do so are invited to the NEWC tent on Salt Tip Corner for refreshments and a chat. Andie McPherson, Campaigns Manager at Redwings and Co-ordinator of the Appleby Horse Fair Equine Welfare Project this year, said: “The new thing this year is we are inviting people to talk to use and tell us, if and how, the horse fair can be improved for horses.
“What we’ll be doing with that information is helping guide our work over the next five years so we can focus on what we are doing. Involve more of a diverse section of fairgoers and try to see some improvement in some of the priority areas.”
Andie says it’s vitally important to do this project because people have such strong opinions. She continued: “People have such strong opinions and there is discrimination and prejudice around it. We shouldn’t be discrimination against people on the basis of equine welfare.
“We do see a range of horses and different happiness at the fair and the RSPCA lead their operation here and do an excellent job. We’re most interested in helping horse owners here access up-to-date information. We’ve got information on vaccination, infectious diseases, horse health and promoting things like routine dentistry.”
There will be a vet station at Salt Tip Corner where assistance can be sought for any animal that needs it. The vet station will be staffed on Friday, Saturday and Sunday between 10am and 4pm.
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