A MAN and a woman who took several animals - including a pony and two wild birds - to Appleby Horse Fair last year have been prosecuted for animal welfare offences.

Carlisle’s Rickergate Magistrates’ Court heard that RSPCA inspectors were alerted after a passer-by saw that the pony had been left tethered beside the A685 just outside of Kirkby Stephen while two dogs were running loose near to two empty kennels.

None of the animals were being supervised or looked after, and the pony had no access to drinking water. Another dog - found in a cage without bedding - had no clean drinking water.

In court, Michael Patrick Price, 28, of Limetree Avenue, Malton, North Yorkshire, admitted not ensuring the needs of the pony were met, and the same charge for a lurcher dog and a collie cross.

He also admitted having the two goldfinches.

He was given 60 hours of unpaid work and banned from owning or keeping any animal for four years. He must also pay £600 costs, and a £90 victim surcharge.

His lawyer David Wales said Price had asked family members to look after the animals as he had to travel to Leeds - but his car broke down and his return was delayed.

Also prosecuted was Shannon Hanrahan, 26, of Kidacre Park, Leeds.

She admitted failing to ensure the proper care of the caged dog, and illegally having the two goldfinches.

Hanrahan was given a 14 day curfew at an address in Byker, Newcastle, starting at 10pm each night and finishing at 6am. She must pay also £250 costs and a £32 victim surcharge.