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Dartmoor livestock to wear protective bands

Ross Tibbles
Ross Tibbles

A road safety partnership has given more than £6,300 in funding for a new initiative to try and cut the number of animal fatalities on Dartmoor.

Last year, 117 incidents on the moor left animals dead or injured, and livestock protection officer Karla McKechnie said she was ‘sickened and saddened’ at the continually high numbers of collisions.

This funding from Vision Zero South West means that 80 Dartmoor ponies and 150 cows that graze next to the main road across the moor will wear reflective neck bands in the hope of making them more visible to motorists.

Councillor Mark Williams of Dartmoor Forest Parish Council said: “The B3212 is the busiest of the two the main roads across Dartmoor and is the arterial route from Plymouth on to the moor and to Princetown and HM Prison Dartmoor. The 3.5-mile stretch between Peek Hill and Princetown is unfenced, with a speed limit of 40mph and runs across Walkhampton Common, where around 150 cattle and 80 ponies roam freely.

‘These neckbands have proved successful in their use in the New Forest. If this initiative proves successful, the aim is to roll out similar measures on other key routes across the moor, should additional funding become available.”

He said that crashes which involved animals being hit by vehicles ‘result in the death of the animal and heavy damage to the vehicle involved. Some also result in injury to drivers and passengers’.

Alongside the use of the reflective bands for the animals, the funding has also been used to install a new speed sign below Leedon Tor, on the road from Princetown.

Local Life