HIGHWAY chiefs are being urged to halt the "carnage" occurring in the New Forest after an horrific accident in which four ponies were killed.

The collision - one of the worst animal accidents in the Forest for several years - occurred on a notorious stretch of Roger Penny Way near Bramshaw.

The ponies are thought to have been licking freshly-laid salt on the road when they were hit by a Land Rover Discovery.

Two other accidents have occurred on Roger Penny Way in the past few weeks. Three donkeys were killed on December 13 and two sheep died in a hit-and-run on December 28.

Following the latest collision police are urging drivers to take "extreme care".

The ponies were owned by New Forest commoner Katie Ferrett, 30, who has been left devastated by the deaths of four of her animals.

Her father, Mark Ferrett, 55, said the 40mph speed limit on all unfenced roads in the district should be reduced to 30mph.

He added: "Three of the ponies were killed outright but we think the fourth probably suffered for about 15 minutes.

"In the past few weeks three donkeys have been killed on Roger Penny Way, two sheep have been killed and now four ponies - it's unacceptable.

"Farmers have to deal with life and death every day but this shouldn't be happening.

"People should respect the Forest and drive according to the conditions. If it's icy, foggy or wet 40mph is too fast. Everyone needs to slow down and stop this carnage."

The accident occurred at around 8.45pm on New Year's Eve.

Reports say the driver was travelling at less than 40mph but was blinded by the headlights of an oncoming vehicle.

New Forest East MP Julian Lewis said: "The Forest at night is a truly difficult driving environment and requires great patience and care to negotiate."

Several people have taken to social media to demand action to halt what one man described as "this dreadful slaughter".

One person posted "At what point will the authorities actually do something about the carnage on Roger Penny Way? Substantial measures need to be taken."

Hampshire county councillor David Harrison, a member of the New Forest National Park Authority, listed several measures that have already been implemented in a bid to reduce the number of animal accidents in the district.

He added: "I think if there was an easy answer to stopping incidents like this, steps would have already been taken."


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