PONY rides have been banned from the annual feria in Alhaurin el Grande after a long campaign by animal charities.

The decision comes after the local CYD Santa Maria horse refuge launched a campaign to ban such attractions.

“It is not the activity in itself that is the problem but the conditions in which the ponies are made to work,” explained charity spokesman Virginia Solera.

In particular the group argues the pony rides routinely overwork the animals.

They also argue the ponies can suffer stress from the loud noises and lights of the fair.

Alhaurin el Grande now joins Granada, Almeria and Jerez in banning it, with the charity urging all towns across Andalucia to follow suit.