Animal welfare campaigners in the New Forest are urging garage workshops to report suspected hit-and-run drivers.

New Forest Roads Awareness is encouraging mechanics to raise the alarm if they believe a damaged car has been involved in an accident involving livestock.

Members of the group have condemned drivers who break the law by failing to report animal accidents.

The latest hit-and-run involved a young donkey that was struck on the B3078 Roger Penny Way by a vehicle thought to have been heading in the direction of Fordingbridge or Downton.

Daily Echo: Dozens of free-roaming animals are killed or injured in the New Forest every yearDozens of free-roaming animals are killed or injured in the New Forest every year (Image: Newsquest)

The accident occurred at around 5pm on Sunday, December 3, just past the junction with Longcross Plain Road.

A critical care doctor and a member of the public stopped to care for the animal, but it had to be put down by one of the agisters.

READ MORE: Two ponies and one pig killed in latest spate of New Forest hit-and-runs

Police say debris found at the scene included a glass headlight, indicating that an older vehicle was involved.

Animal accidents tend to increase after the clocks go back, which results in more motorists driving across the Forest in the dark.

Daily Echo: Animal accidents often result in major damage to the vehicle involvedAnimal accidents often result in major damage to the vehicle involved (Image: Supplied)

Free-roaming ponies, cows, and donkeys injured by vehicles are often not found for hours if collisions are not reported.

A New Forest Roads Awareness spokesperson condemned the recent rise in hit-and-runs.

Appealing to members of the motor trade they said: "Do you work in a garage, spray shop or other place where you have damaged vehicles with blood or hair on them? 

"You could help us find hit-and-run drivers - and you could be up for a reward."

READ MORE: New Forest Roads Awareness says animal hit by vehicles are being left to suffer in agony

As reported in the Daily Echo, the New Forest Verderers pay up to £5,000 for information resulting in a conviction. The exact amount depends on their level of involvement in the prosecution.

All the free-roaming animals in the district are owned by commoners - people with the right to let their livestock graze the landscape.

Every year dozens of ponies, cattle, sheep, and pigs are killed or injured on Forest roads.

The worst two months for animal accidents are said to be November and December. Some of the collisions involve ponies attracted by salt sprayed on icy roads.

Police investigating the Roger Penny Way incident are anxious to hear from anyone of knows of a vehicle that has recently suffered damage to its nearside front wing, mirror, and headlight.

Anyone with information can contact Hampshire police on 101 quoting reference number 44230494153.