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Don’t feed or touch the animals

"Please drive slow for the ponies"

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Polly Smythe

Communication
Director

The New Forest is well-known for its roaming ponies, donkeys, cattle, pigs and in some places, sheep. For their safety and your own please don’t feed or pet them; there is plenty of natural food and it’s best that they don’t come to rely on people’s attention. They may look friendly but they are unpredictable and can bite and kick, especially mares with foals.

The feeding of ponies is against the byelaws and giving them human food, or even things like carrots, causes serious issues in the New Forest. Some ponies and donkeys develop an unhealthy craving for human food and become aggressive with people who, quite rightly, try to keep their picnics to themselves. The animals also tend to gather near roads, looking for people with food, and this makes them more vulnerable to traffic accidents. Human food also gives the ponies colic (bad stomach ache) which is very painful.



Paul
Walton
Head of Environment and Rural Economy

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'To avoid damage and obstruction, please park only in designated car parks, not on a verge or in gateways.'

More New Forest Care for the Forest

From beautiful scenery to free roaming animals, fascinating history to scenic coastline, there's something for everyone in the New Forest National Park. This section will help you find your way around the Forest and enjoy all it has to offer while caring for this fragile and important landscape.

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