Campaigning porker pinched in FawleyPUBLISHED ON: 22 JANUARY 2019
Hamburglars have trotted off with a life-size silhouette of a pig that had been touring the New Forest to raise awareness of animal road accidents.
The three-foot swine was pignapped last week at Gang Warily Recreation Centre in Fawley, leaving just the pony, cow, donkey and sheep to raise awareness of animal road deaths.
Forest organisations are appealing for the return of the silhouette, sow she can return to her work helping to reduce animal casualties across the National Park.
Recently-released figures show that 63 animals were killed on the roads in 2018, an increase of 13% compared to 2017.
This makes this winter’s campaign by New Forest commoners particularly important. Commoning families own the animals that graze the Forest and they have teamed up with other organisations to take their drive safe campaign on the road during the highest risk months.
Silhouettes depicting the number of 2017 deaths have been placed in local towns and villages throughout the winter. They have provided an eye-catching reminder of the importance of driving carefully to local people, who are responsible for the majority of animal road deaths.
Tony Hockley, Chairman of the Commoners Defence Association, said: ‘Pigs are particularly vulnerable on the roads, but also really important to the Forest. In the autumn pannage season they eat the acorns that are poisonous to other animals. We’re appealing to local people to have a good poke around for our porker, and we’ll put up a reward of New Forest pannage pork to anyone who gives information leading to the return of our pig.’
The silhouettes are just one part of a wider campaign that includes new temporary warning signs deployed by Hampshire County Council on key roads and the police mobile speed camera van which is out in the Forest day and night.
The free-roaming animals are vital in maintaining the protected New Forest landscape — it’s their grazing which helps maintain one of the best places in Britain for nature and for people to enjoy. The ponies, donkeys, cattle, pigs and sheep are owned and cared for by commoners and every animal killed is a great loss to the Forest, and to its owner. The animals have right of way on New Forest roads.
If you are involved in a road accident involving livestock ring the police on 999 (emergency) or 101 (non-emergency).