‘Credit card’ bid to cut animal accidents

Published Friday 19 October 2007

The New Forest National Park Authority with its partners the Forestry Commission, Verderers and Police is launching a new initiative to cut animal deaths in the New Forest.

The New Forest animal emergency hotlines card is a fresh bid to reduce the death toll among the Forest’s ponies, cattle, donkeys, pigs, sheep and deer. More than 100 commoners’ animals are killed or injured on the Forest’s roads each year, along with a similar number of deer.

The National Park Authority and its partners are calling on people who drive through the New Forest to drive slowly, especially at night, and give animals a wide berth.

The Authority wants to increase awareness of the difficult and unpleasant work these organisations do and help raise the profile of the importance of driving sensibly through the Forest.  

The wallet-sized animal emergency hotlines card also tells drivers who to call if they do have an accident involving an animal.

Nigel Matthews, Head of Visitor Services for the New Forest National Park Authority, said: ‘The aims of the card are to help reduce accidents by raising awareness of the issue and to tell people what to do if they are involved in an accident involving an animal or if they see a sick, injured or distressed animal.

‘It is important that people report all animal accidents as soon as possible; some animals survive but have serious internal injuries. We hope that people will keep the card in their wallets or cars so that the numbers to call are always at hand.’

Nigel added: ‘Ponies have no road-sense, regularly walk out in front of vehicles and have right of way. Drivers need to give them a wide berth. Foals often walk across the road to their mothers. The key message in the New Forest National Park is: drive slowly because there are animals on the road day and night.’

The animal information card has been sent out with the latest edition of the Authority’s publication Park Life and can be picked up at the National Park Headquarters at South Efford House. In the coming months, it will be distributed widely in and around the National Park.

-ends-

Media Contact:
Karen Evans, Communications Officer, New Forest National Park Authority
Tel: 01590 646650
Email: karen.evans@newforestnpa.gov.uk

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