Beach donkeys given annual MOT ahead of summer season in Scarborough

Rosie the donkey receives a health check.
Rosie the donkey receives a health check.

Scarborough’s beach donkeys have been given their annual check-up to ensure they are fit and healthy for the summer season.

Gemma Dransfield, Clinical Director at Minster Equine Veterinary Clinic in Poppleton, York, carried out health checks on 15 donkeys which will thrill children during the summer holidays by giving rides along the sand on South Bay.

Suzy and vet Gemma Dransfield.

Suzy and vet Gemma Dransfield.

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Gemma carried out health checks on a number of donkeys in the first of four inspections organised by Scarborough Council, which provides licenses to owners operating on the beach.

She has also inspected donkeys in Filey and will perform further inspections in Scarborough and Whitby.

As well as checking the condition of their feet, teeth and general wellbeing, the donkeys are examined for lameness and have their backs checked to make sure their tack isn’t rubbing or causing discomfort.

Rosie gets her teeth checked.

Rosie gets her teeth checked.

Gemma said: “The health and welfare of the donkeys is the key priority and we ensure they are fit, healthy and happy before they begin the summer season.

“They are wonderful animals that will bring a lot of pleasure to children, so we are happy to assist the council to ensure they are in the best of health for taking youngsters for rides.

“Licenses are renewed every year and we carry out home inspections at the premises of the donkey owners.

“I generally check that the welfare and health of the donkeys so they can perform their duties. If I find any abnormalities, I give advice but it is mainly their own vets who treat
the donkeys.”