New warning messages are to be displayed along selected roads in the New Forest following an increase in animal casualties.
Meanwhile animal injuries rose by 33 per cent from 27 to 36, and the number of accidents attended by the agisters went up from 161 to 174.
The setbacks came despite heavy publicity and a number of safety initiatives by forest organisations.
Bob Morris of the New Forest National Park Authority said: “We are extremely disappointed to see animal accidents increasing again after 2010’s figures were the lowest on record.
“This year there has been a rise in casualty rates among pigs, donkeys and sheep – and 35 of the accidents happened in daylight.
“We are working very closely with Hampshire County Council, which is putting up new signs to try to reduce these accidents.”
Drivers on the high-risk route between Lymington and Dibden Purlieu will soon see the new message “67 animal deaths last year” on the warning signs, which change four times a year.
County councillor Mel Kendall said: “Early indications are that the slogans used so far on this road such as ‘pass slow and wide’ and ‘ponies don’t dent, they die’ are working, since the accident rate on this road was lower than in other parts of the forest.”
Sue Westwood, chairman of the Animal Accident Reduction Group, said: “It is disappointing to realise that 75 accidents involved local drivers who should have known better.
“It is the law to report all accidents within 24 hours; however, 31 accidents were not reported last year.
“Not only is this distressing for the injured animal, but also for the agisters who work long hours in often distressing circumstances. It is their job to track the animal and often end its suffering.”
Graham Ferris, chairman of the Commoners’ Defence Association, said: “The Commoners’ animals are vital to the New Forest since their grazing keeps the forest the way we have all come to appreciate.
“The animals have right of way and don’t understand that cars are dangerous, so people should drive carefully.”
If you are unsure of what to do if you witness or are involved in an accident involving a pony, donkey, cow, pig or sheep, look out for an animal accident hotline card that tells you who to call. Cards are available from garages and Local Information Points across the New Forest. To stock the cards contact the New Forest National Park Authority.