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Last Updated: Wednesday May 11 2005 20:32 GMT

Donkeys 'must have Fridays off'

A donkey on Blackpool beach
Donkeys working on Blackpool beach are being given MOTs to check they're healthy and being treated fairly.

Inspectors are making sure the animals only work seven hours a day, get at an hour for lunch and have Fridays off.

The four legged creatures, famous for ferrying people up and down the sea front, will also have their hooves, teeth and coats checked by vets.

Blackpool Council said officials will make regular check-ups all summer to make sure they are well cared for.

Up to 200 donkeys and 40 horses work on the beaches during the holiday season, a tradition which has been going for over a hundred years.

The donkeys will line up for the inspection on Friday, and any owner who has a donkey that is not healthy enough to work will not be allowed to offer donkey rides to the public.

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