The Donkey Sanctuary is sending a team of seven to Appleby Horse Fair, the annual traveller event which starts in Cumbria on Thursday.

Five donkey welfare advisers, one welfare co-ordinator and one vet will form part of a multi-agency team working to ensure animal welfare is a priority at the event which takes place between 7 June-11 June.

The Donkey Sanctuary team will join the RSPCA, Blue Cross, Bransby Horses, British Horse Society, Redwings Horse Sanctuary and World Horse Welfare at the event.

Hannah Bryer, head of welfare at The Donkey Sanctuary, says: “We will be assisting with monitoring welfare and handling and transporting equines in need of assistance. It’s also a good opportunity for The Donkey Sanctuary to engage with attendees who may have donkeys at home, even if they haven’t brought them to the fair.”

It’s a great example of everyone working together towards the same goal.

Rob Melloy, RSPCA

The RSPCA will be sending 31 officers to Appleby Horse Fair and will be leading the multi-agency team. RSPCA chief inspector Rob Melloy says: “There’s nothing else as big in the whole year as Appleby - from a staffing or multi-agency point of view. It’s a great example of everyone working together towards the same goal.”

As always, 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 (8,9,10 June) between 10am-4pm.

Chief inspector Melloy added: “Fair-goers can go to the vet station or approach our officers - or those from the other horse charities attending - if they are concerned about an animal at the event, or they can call us on 0300 1234 999.”

There will also be an information and education tent on Salt Tip Corner where owners can share knowledge and discuss issues relating to equine care. Now in its eighth year, the tent continues to grow in popularity thanks to interactive activities including specimens of real horse parasites and body condition scoring.