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Shock rise in number of animal accidents on Forest roads

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There have been a number of hit-and-run incidents in recent weeks
There have been a number of hit-and-run incidents in recent weeks

THE number of commoners’ animals killed and injured on New Forest roads this year is up nearly 14% on the same period last year.

The worrying statistics were unveiled at the Verderers’ Court on Wednesday when clerk Sue Westwood revealed 67 animals have been involved in road accidents since January.

However, Ms Westwood said collisions in September were actually down on last year’s figures – 12 compared with 16.

She said: “Six accidents occurred in daylight, two at twilight and four in the dark. One accident was not reported by the driver involved.”

The latest statistics come in the aftermath of a number of hit-and-run accidents, which prompted a young commoner to say he sometimes considers giving up on the ancient practice.

Dan Rangecroft (20), who keeps a herd of around 30 ponies and seven donkeys, spoke out after one of his donkeys underwent “terrible” suffering when a driver failed to stop and report the accident on the Exbury Road between Ipers Bridge and Hilltop.

He told the A&T: “It is very disheartening for young commoners to see our animals killed like this. I understand that accidents happen but I will never understand the mentality of anyone who can hit an animal and then just drive off and leave it in a terrible state.”

The young female donkey was the second of Dan’s herd to be killed this year following a previous hit-and-run in January when his pregnant jenny donkey was left fatally injured in Bramshaw.

In the latest accidents reported to the verderers a black filly wearing a reflective collar was injured and had to be destroyed following an accident at around 4.45pm last Friday on the B3055 at Sway.

Three days before there was a collision on the B3054 at Dibden at 9.25pm in which a black cow was injured.

Another accident on Holmsley Road, Wootton, was also reported on Friday at 7.10pm but the cow could not be located.

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