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Pony deaths from road accidents in the New Forest at all time low

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Pony deaths resulting from road accidents in the New Forest are at their lowest since recording began in 1956.

A year-long campaign was run by the New Forest National Park Authority (NFNPA), the Verderers, the Forestry Commission, Hampshire County Council and the police to encourage people to drive more safely.

The campaign targeted speed, highlighted animal accident hot spots and raised driver awareness.

And figures show it appears to have worked, with deaths of commoners’ ponies down from 65 (90 animals in total) in 2007 to 51 (73 animals in total) in 2008.

Nigel Matthews from the NFNPA said: “There is no single initiative that has reduced animal accidents, it has been a combination of a wide range of initiatives including animal accident hotline cards, car stickers, enforcement notices, reflective collars, graphic posters, verge clearance and portable signs.

“We won’t be complacent, 73 animal deaths is still too many but we have shown that by working together we can make a difference to save animals lives.

“Most accidents occur at night, drivers need to be careful, especially when blinded by oncoming traffic. When a pony is near the road a driver should slow down and give it a wide berth, it could step out on to the road at any time.”

Originally published on horseandhound.co.uk