Hampshire & Isle of Wight

New Forest road safety campaign donkey killed by car

Jo-Jo with her mother Doll Image copyright Aide Callaghan
Image caption The foal's mother, Doll, is said to be mourning the loss of Jo-Jo and had to be "chased away" from the scene where she was killed

A donkey foal which was used to educate young motorists to drive more safely in the New Forest has been killed by a car on a road.

The six-month-old female, called Jo-Jo, died on the B3055 Sway Road in Brockenhurst.

The white foal had been used to educate Brockenhurst College students as part of its Drive Safe road safety awareness initiative.

A petition has been set up calling for a reduction in the speed limit.

Ponies, donkeys, cattle and pigs, owned by commoners, have roamed free in the forest for centuries.

In 2013, there were 182 collisions involving livestock in the national park, resulting in 72 animal deaths.

Mother 'mourning'

Aide Callaghan and Fiona MacDuff, from Sway, set up the petition following the death of Jo-Jo on 26 November.

They are calling on Desmond Swayne, Conservative MP for New Forest West, to help reduce the local speed limit from 40mph (64km/h) to 30mph (48km/h).

They said Jo-Jo was well-known locally because of her "snow-white" colouring, and had been taken into the college to help raise awareness of animals at risk on New Forest roads.

Miss MacDuff said the foal's mother, Doll, was still mourning the loss and "had to be chased away" from the scene where she died.

Miss Callaghan, whose dog was hit and killed by a car on a New Forest track last year, said local roads were "not being policed enough".

"Animals might not come so high on some people's agendas, but it's not going to be long before it's a child," she added.

'No offence committed'

Hampshire county councillor Sean Woodward said the authority investigated all reported crashes in the New Forest and considered "implementing measures where they are likely to be effective".

He said grazing animals were a "feature of the area" and urged motorists to take extra care.

Since October, a Hampshire Constabulary speed enforcement officer has been assigned to help cut the number of animals killed on the roads of the New Forest.

The Verderers of the New Forest, Commoners' Defence Association and the police have also recently funded a speed camera van for the area.

A Hampshire Constabulary spokeswoman described Jo-Jo as a "local celebrity".

She said the foal's death had been a "tragic accident", which was reported to the police but added its investigations found no offence had been committed.

The force said it was working with with partnership agencies "in supporting animal accident reduction initiatives".

Mr Swayne has yet to respond to requests for comment.

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