Horse rescued and £20K counterfeit goods seized at Stow Fair
A LAME horse was rescued by the RSPCA from the Stow Horse Fair yesterday.
Trading Standards officers also seized around £20,000 worth of counterfeit goods at the fair.
During the event in Stow-on-the-Wold yesterday RSPCA officers attended to ensure the welfare of animals on the site and offer advice to owners on appropriate care.
One young horse was seized by RSPCA officers as there were concerns over its welfare.
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The yearling cob, which was lame on his left hind leg, is black with white blaze and two white socks on his hind legs.
The RSPCA are eager to speak to anyone who knows who the horse belongs to.
The operation also aimed to target those selling puppies at the event.
A spokesman said it is an offence to sell a pet puppy in a public place without a licence and the offence can carry a £2000 fine.
As a result of the operation one person has been reported for the sale of the potential pets and one puppy is now in the care of the RSPCA.
RSPCA Chief Inspector Lee Hopgood said: "We would urge members of the public not to buy puppies from events such as Stow Horse Fair. Some of the traders in puppies at these events are not simply selling an accidental litter of puppies, many of them are breeding and selling dogs purely for profit. This is obvious to see as they often have more than one litter of puppies, of different breeds and ages. With breeders who sell for profit the welfare standards for the animals is not their first priority and the background of the dogs is unknown.
"A licence is required to sell animals in a public place and no one is licensed to sell puppies from Stow Fair so by purchasing a puppy from the event you are supporting this illegal trade. Quite simply if people did not buy the puppies, the illegal trade would stop.
"Every year the RSPCA is contacted by people who have purchased a puppy from Stow Fair due to the animal becoming sick within hours of getting home. Last year we found a puppy in a dreadful condition that had been purchased by a member of the public.
"We had to take him directly to a veterinary surgeon who stated that he was in a suffering state due to neglect. We would appeal to the public to consider giving a home to a rescue dog that is patiently waiting on a new home rather than ever considering purchasing a puppy from a market or horse fair.
"I would also advise all dog owners to have their pets neutered to prevent unwanted litters of puppies which often end up being abandoned or neglected."
More than £20,000 worth of suspected counterfeit clothing was seized by Trading Standards officials carrying out checks at the Fair.
The suspected counterfeit ‘brands’ included; Paul's Boutique, Polo Ralph Lauren, Juicy Couture, Vivienne Westwood, Calvin Klein, Hello Kitty, Fred Perry, Superdry, Adidas and Nike.
Eddie Coventry, Head of Trading standards said: “We have seen an increase in the sale of counterfeit products at this event and it is clear from complaints made to us that the public and legitimate traders are concerned about this.”
The clothing was confiscated and officers seized around £4000 in cash from those suspected of selling the goods.
“We are pleased to have been able to work together with the Police and District Council to co-ordinate our work to tackle this problem and show that Gloucestershire will not be an easy target for people looking to gain from unfair and illegal trading,” Mr Coventry added.
Both Gloucestershire Constabulary and Cotswold District Council supported the operations carried out at the Fair.
Cllr David Fowles, Cabinet Member for the Environment at Cotswold District Council, said: “We are always keen to protect animal welfare, reduce negative aspects of the Fair and any illegal activity to help ensure that the event runs as smoothly as possible.
“The efforts mounted this year by the RSPCA and Trading Standards to stamp out illegal trade has certainly helped the council, the police and other partners achieve these aims.”
Police officers were on hand to support both operations where appropriate, alongside the regular patrols they carry out at the event in order to reassure the public and ensure the Fair stays safe for all involved.
One trader, a 50-year-old man from Rochester, was arrested at the event for possession of a class A drug. He was issued with a formal caution for possession of amphetamine.
A second trader was issued with a street caution for possession of cannabis.
Chief Inspector Rob Priddy from Gloucestershire Police said: “We were pleased to support both of these operations in order to ensure the law is upheld at the Stow Fair.
“We hope that the actions taken yesterday act as a warning to others engaging in these types of activities that they will not be tolerated. We will be looking to run similar operations in the future.”
Calls with information can be made to the RSPCA national cruelty and advice line on 0300 123 8018 leaving a message for inspector Kirsty Withnall.