THE Scottish SPCA is urging drivers to take care on the road as they have reported an increase in calls regarding road traffic accidents to their animal helpline.

Scotland’s animal welfare charity has received calls about deer, pheasants and badgers being hit by cars.

Mike Flynn, Scottish SPCA chief superintendent, said: "The increase to our helpline could be due to the cold weather we have been having which forces these animals out of their habitat in search for food.

"It is a legal requirement to stop and report to Police Scotland when you hit a dog, goat, horse, cattle, donkey, mule, sheep and pig.

"Drivers are not required to report a cat or any other animals; however they may still wish to contact the police to inform them of any accidents.

"We can assist if the animal is injured and we will be able to scan for any microchips in domestic animals."

The charity is currently caring for a pheasant at their National Wildlife Rescue Centre in Fishcross who was discovered under a trapped grille after being hit by a car.

Colin Seddon, centre manager, said: "Rey, a pheasant, had been trapped behind the car grille for two days before being spotted.

"Luckily, we were alerted just in time and although she had badly damaged tendons and was unable to use her legs, we are confident that she will make a full recovery."

Anyone concerned about the welfare of an animal should contact the Scottish SPCA animal helpline on 03000 999 999.