POLICE in the New Forest are investigating a hit-and-run accident in which a pregnant cow was seriously injured and had to be destroyed.

The collision, which occurred on the B3055 Beaulieu to Brockenhurst road, involved a dark-coloured Citroen Saxo driven by a man in his mid 20s.

Police say he stopped and spoke to a passing motorist and his passenger but then drove off and failed to report the accident.

The New Forest’s commoning system, which allows farmers and smallholders to let their ponies and cattle roam the area, is run by the Verderers, who have joined police in appealing for information about the incident.

The Verderers pay a £1,000 reward for information leading to the conviction of a driver involved in a hit-and-run accident.

A spokesman said: “The cow – an in-calf black Angus – had serious lacerations and a broken front leg and had to be destroyed.

The driver is described as being of medium height with short dark hair and spoke with an eastern European accent.

Two other animal accidents have occurred on Forest roads in the past few days.

A cow had to be put down after a collision on the B3056 Lyndhurst to Beaulieu road and a mare was injured at Ipers Bridge Road, Hilltop, despite wearing a reflective glow-in-the-dark collar.

The collision involving the cow happened outside Stockley Cottage last Sunday at 9.40pm.

Anyone with information is urged to call the police on 101 or the Verderers on 023 8028 2052. They can also e-mail enquiries@verderers.org.uk .