MOTORISTS are being urged to immediately report accidents involving livestock on New Forest roads after three animal deaths in one week – including a donkey fatally injured in a hit-and-run.
The donkey was later destroyed after being discovered on the Blackhills Road, near Stagbury Crossroads at Furzey. The incident was reported to verderers at around 5.05pm on Tuesday 21st January.
Verderers clerk Sue Westwood said: “The months between November and February are always particularly bad for animal accidents on the road, because it is already dark at commuting times.”
Drivers are advised to report any accidents involving animals as soon as possible to avoid unnecessary suffering. Motorists involved in accidents face prosecution if they do not report them.
Miss Westwood added: “I cannot stress enough how important it is to report any accidents that take place so the agisters are aware and can check on the situation.
“I’ve heard people say, ‘Oh, the pony got up and ran off so it must be okay’. But that is not always the case, by any means.
“If drivers do report an accident to us or the police, it is very unlikely they will be prosecuted. But if they do not report it and we do catch them later they are very likely to end up in court.”
As well as the donkey, two other animals were killed on New Forest roads last week. On Tuesday 21st January a black filly was injured and later had to be destroyed after an accident on the B3078 near Godshill Pottery at around 5.43pm.
On Thursday 23rd a gelding donkey was killed at Penn Road close to Dazel Wood at around 3.23pm.
Also on 21st January, at around 9.15pm, a motorist reported a collision involving one or possibly two ponies also on the B3078 close to Crows Nest. An agister attended but nothing was found.
A cow escaped unhurt after an incident on the B3056 Beaulieu Road at 6.45pm on Wednesday 22nd.
Miss Westwood said: “We have said it so many times in the past, but it is so important to be aware and keep an eye out for any animals on both sides of the roads.
“The ponies and cattle and other animals don’t have any road sense and they will just wander out – drivers need to be prepared for that to happen.”