Welfare officers from international animal welfare charity The Donkey Sanctuary have reported an improvement in the welfare of donkeys and other equines at this year’s Appleby Horse Fair in Cumbria, which finished earlier this week.

Staff from The Donkey Sanctuary worked closely with the RSPCA, World Horse Welfare, Redwings Horse Sanctuary and The Blue Cross to promote donkey welfare at Britain’s largest horse fair. The team of three welfare officers, a vet and the charity’s head of welfare checked on the condition of donkeys at the fair and made sure that they had adequate access to food and water. They also spoke with donkey owners, sellers and members of the public, offering information and advice about donkey welfare.

The Donkey Sanctuary’s Head of Welfare, Michael Crane, says: “We are pleased to report an improvement in animal welfare at this year’s Appleby Horse Fair. Our welfare officers checked a number of donkeys at the fair and found all of them to be in a reasonable condition with access to hay and water. This is a real step forward from last year when four donkeys in an extremely poor condition were relinquished to The Donkey Sanctuary after being formally signed over to the RSPCA.

“Working with other animal welfare organisations at this extremely busy event helps to make sure that animal welfare is not compromised and help and support are always at hand. We look forward to seeing even more improvements at the fair next year.”

To find out more about the work of The Donkey Sanctuary to protect donkeys and mules and promote their welfare worldwide, please visit www.thedonkeysanctuary.org.uk