1. ITV Report

RSPCA concern over animals getting tangled in netting

The RSPCA has issued a warning about wildlife getting stuck in netting - with new figures showing that the charity rescued more than a thousand tangled animals last year.

Credit: RSPCA

Photos released show how easily animals can get tangled in sports or garden netting - which can result in fatal injuries.

In total, 1,032 animals were rescued from netting by RSPCA officers in 2016.

The number of netting rescues RSPCA officers carry out increases drastically in the peak of summer. Last year in July, 198 animals were rescued after getting tangled in netting - compared to 20 in January.

From May to July last year, when the weather was warmer, 429 animals were rescued from netting - approximately five a day.

Sports netting, such as football and tennis netting, and pond and fruit netting are the main culprits which wildlife are rescued from.

Credit: RSPCA

“There have been instances, for example, of fox cubs strangling themselves to death because they have been trying to free themselves. It doesn’t take too long with them thrashing about trying to escape before they become seriously trapped and are then unable to free themselves. If they go unnoticed even for a short time, they can really suffer. The tight net can cut off the blood supply to their limbs, damage bones where they have tried to frantically escape, or worst of all, they could be strangled to death. There is one simple way to prevent this from happening - please remove sports nets after use and store them safely away. It only takes a few minutes and yet it could save an animal from suffering a horrible death. Where netting can’t be removed, such as pond or fruit netting, we recommend replacing them with solid metal mesh.”

– Llewelyn Lowen, scientific information officer at the RSPCA