High Viz Neck Collars
by Paul Sumner
I note a few (very few) of the ponies in the New Forest wear reflective collars - obviously fitted by caring owners - would it be worth a campaign to make it formal for owners to fit their animals with such collars. I doubt this could apply to pigs, deer etc..but certainly to Ponies, Donkeys, Fouls and cattle/calves..? Not an expensive option, and this will certainly assist on those evenings and night times when most accidents happen. Such a tragic record of accidents - and so many unnecessary deaths...
Thank you for your very valid comment on the number of high viz collars worn by New Forest animals. Here's what I feel with both pro's and cons
1. High viz collars are now free to Commoners so why wouldn't you use them on your animals?
2. Sadly they provide help but many animals are hit from behind so at this time tail high viz options are being tested. If you go out towards Fritham you will see a couple of ponies with tail attachments (one green one red)
3. From my experience they can have long life durability or last a few days. My pony had his replaced as it was dulling and too crinkly - the replacement lasted one day! Luckily I had a new replacement which went on for months.
4. Many animals you see are extremely feral and are only ever caught at The Drift or if they need medical attention. Keeping them in high viz would be very difficult
5. I'm glad you mentioned donkeys and cows. The Verderers have come up with a collar which fits a donkey (big head, small neck was a challenge) and so you'll see more donkeys hopefully wearing them.
Last year a beautiful Aberdeen Angus cow was knocked down near us despite wearing a high viz and being on a very quiet single lane residential road. Deep trauma to the cow who survived and the owner who is reconsidering using his Commoners rights. It was probably the result of a local driving too fast and without due care.
6. Some animals are dreadful near the road which is why extra care is needed. Donkeys and cows tend to just step out instantly (there will be a donkey which was killed near Brook on next weeks Verderers animals accident figs)
7. Recent speed checks resulted in 10,000 motorists being caught speeding with a top speed of 74m.p.h. as the highest count. With driving levels like this it is only a matter of time before an animal is hit.
8. Lots of well publicised work has been going on over the last year in particular to come up with a solution. The work is ongoing and will hopefully help to protect more animals as schemes are put in place in the future.
9. As a Commoner road accidents are a daily fear which is why our animals are checked every day.