A hard-hitting video of a dead filly, put down after being hit by a car, being winched on to a trailer has amassed more than 190,000 views online.
The video shows the pony, who suffered a broken leg after being hit by a car in Roborough on Dartmoor, being removed after she was put down on 3 August.
Ben Drury, who collected the pony, posted the video online and said: “This is the fourth dead pony I’ve picked up so far this year because people can’t slow down.”
**Warning: you may find this video upsetting**
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Dartmoor livestock protection officer Karla McKechnie, who attended the filly, told H&H this was the second pony to be hit on the same stretch of road in 10 days.
“I received a call from a lady who saw the pony holding its leg up by the side of the road. She sent me a picture and I’ve been doing this job long enough to know when it doesn’t look good,” said Karla.
“When I attended the pony was stood behind the bracken with a broken front leg and I had no option but to put it down. It had lacerations on its back legs and I think it had gone up over the top of a car.”
On 5 August Karla attended a third pony hit by a vehicle that had to be put down after suffering a broken hind leg.
“This is happening all the time – we’re finding animals close to the road with swinging legs or deep cuts. People aren’t phoning them in, they’re hitting these animals and driving off,” said Karla.
“I’ve almost gone past the stage of being mad at drivers, my concern is the suffering animal. I’ve got to get to it as quickly as I can to either administer help or put it down – I absolutely hate seeing animals suffering.”
Karla said 109 animals (including sheep and cattle) have been hit by a vehicle this year on Dartmoor, of which 15 ponies have been killed.
“People are not driving with awareness. When you come into Dartmoor, whether you’re a tourist or local resident, you’ve got to drive with due care and attention. Some people are saying it’s not down to speed but if you’re going slow enough you have a longer time to react,” she said.
“It’s about educating the public and making people aware there are animals everywhere on Dartmoor and to expect the unexpected.”
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Karla said the video being shared online is a “good thing”.
“This is real and happening. We’re dealing with it and people have got to some extent witness it. Unless you’ve experienced dealing with something like this it doesn’t hit home.
“I don’t find seeing a dead pony being dragged on to a wagon half as bad as seeing a live pony suffering with a broken leg and deep lacerations – that I struggle with.
“The dead pony is not suffering, that’s cleaning up the mess a driver has caused. If it hits home and people find it terrible then it’s done its job.”
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