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Help reduce road deaths

The impact which traffic has on animals is plain to see on roads all over Ireland - foxes, badgers, otters and rabbits are among the innocent victims.

The lives of thousands of wild animals could be saved, however, if Irish motorists fitted a pair of simple plastic devices to their vehicles.

The thumb-sized animal warning device, currently being marketed by a firm in the UK, could drastically reduce the carnage.

Easily fitted by adhesive pads to any vehicle (including motorbikes), the device works by emitting ultra-sonic sound waves as air passes through it. The sound is created at 35mph or faster and can be heard by wildlife (but not humans!) up to 400 yards away. And the faster the vehicle is travelling, the louder the sound becomes.

The American manufacturers stress that the sound is not to frighten the animals but to alert them that danger is on the way - "the warning should cause the animal to stop and look around, trying to find where the sound is coming from".

Priced 9.95 sterling plus 50p post and packing, the animal warning devices are available from Anderson Speciality Products, Dept FI, PO Box 311, Canterbury, Kent, CT1 3GG, England. Please mention Foxwatch Ireland when ordering.

Slow down for wildlife

For your own safety and for the safety of wildlife, keep your speed down while driving. Be particularly alert while driving in the countryside - are you driving so fast that if an animal darted out from the roadside you would be unable to stop?

When driving at night, be aware that animals caught in the glare of your headlights may become dazzled and unable to move. If this happens, dip your headlights, put on your hazard lights to alert traffic behind, slow down and give the animal a chance to escape to safety.