CAMPAIGNERS have launched a new attempt to cut the number of animal deaths on an "infamous" New Forest road.

Off-road salt licks are being trialled on the B3078 Roger Penny Way near Brook following an accident in which four ponies owned by the same person were killed by a Land Rover Discovery.

The animals are thought to have been licking salt which had been spread on the road to help drivers cope with the icy conditions.

As reported in the Daily Echo, the accident happened on New Year's Eve 2020. Three of the ponies were killed instantly and the fourth died a few minutes later from its injuries.

Now salt-licks have been placed 135m from the carriageway in a bid to keep ponies away from the traffic.

All the Forest's free-roaming animals are owned by people called commoners - villagers with the right to let their livestock graze the landscape.

Accidents occur all year round but December and January are often the worst two months - and a large number occur on the B3078.

A Commoners' Defence Association (CDA) spokesperson described Roger Penny Way as one of the most infamous routes in the district for incidents involving livestock.

They added: "During the colder months ponies, donkeys and cattle are drawn to the road, where they lick the salt off the surface.

"It is hoped this trial will keep animals off and away from the road by providing a safer alternative in a more natural habitat.

"The new salt licks are placed approximately 135m back from the road in open-top containers.

"The salt is in big lumps to ensure it doesn’t spill on to the ground. Once the weather improves, the containers will be removed."

The scheme has been devised by Bill Howells, a CDA committee member.

He said: “I would like to thank all the relevant organisations who have given us consent to trial the salt licks. Hopefully it will make a difference to animal behaviour and accident numbers.”

The CDA is still asking all motorists to drive according to the conditions, expect the unexpected and be prepared to stop.


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