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  1. ITV Report

RSPCA 'disappointed' by treatment of horses at Appleby Horse Fair

The RSPCA says relations were generally good throughout the event. Credit: PA

The RSPCA's Chief Inspector says he's disappointed by the number of warnings the charity gave to people at the Appleby Horse Fair, for "overworking" their horses.

Over the course of the event, which runs until 8 June, 274 people were given advice about the treatment of their animals, and 13 warnings were handed out.

That represents a significant increase on last year, when 148 people were given advice and ten warnings given out.

At this year's event six horses were taken away from the Fair, and two investigations are ongoing.

The charity says "it was an exceptionally hot few days", and that the heat typically means more warnings are handed out because animals are overworked.

It was an exceptionally hot few days - which gave the fair a real holiday-type atmosphere, and relations were good throughout - but quite frankly, they should have known better. A number of horses had to be given fluids on site.

We know that the weather plays a huge part in the type and number of incidents dealt with at the event, and we had in increase in staff on the ground this year working different hours which I’m sure has had an impact, but I’d be lying if I said that this year’s numbers aren’t disappointing.

– RSPCA chief inspector Rob Melloy

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