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Letter: Thank Covid for a drop in New Forest road animal deaths



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SIR – I refer to your front page article (A&T, 3rd June) concerning the drop in animal deaths/injuries for 2021.

But haven’t we missed out one vital contributor? Covid-19! Remember the restrictions on travel, the working from home etc?

I’m sure the public have not forgotten. Once again we are fed misinformation. Less traffic, fewer casualties!

Last year was the lowest recorded rate for animal fatalities on New Forest roads
Last year was the lowest recorded rate for animal fatalities on New Forest roads

Achieving a reduction in animal deaths is a complex issue and every little piece added to the jigsaw should help. Those pieces, however, will get smaller and smaller but the effort to achieve them will get greater and greater.

We all know by now that the danger times are for animal casualties is in low light (weather conditions etc) and darkness with inattentive motorists added to the mix. Some accidents are just bad luck, however.

Virtually nothing has been done to make animals more visible in these adverse conditions. Free reflective collars are a start but uptake is still low and there are issues with their angles of visibility.

I have banged on about reflective ear tags and even offered the verderers a simple and very cheap experiment (not involving any animals) that would prove whether or not tags would be a step up from these collars.

I received all sorts of spurious and negative reasons as to why this idea was a non-starter, all of which could be overcome if the will was there, but sadly it is not.

So the authorities will struggle on and continue to assure the public that everything is being done and waste more and more money even when a major part of the answer is staring them in the face – animal visibility!

John Walsh,
Address supplied



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