Wednesday, 30 April 2014

Fire Service issues warning on dangers of disregarded netting

Every year thousands of birds and animals are injured when they become trapped in netting and East Sussex Fire & Rescue Service are urging local residents to be aware of the potential dangers of disregarded netting. 

Crews have been called to two recent operational incidents involving birds who have become trapped in netting, prompting a reminder to the public that if you have netting on or near your premise, it needs to be maintained, repaired or removed safely. 

Netting should always be disposed of carefully as animals are very easily trapped when it is left lying on the ground and birds are very vulnerable to becoming caught in netting that is left on the top or the side of buildings. 

Trevor Weeks MBE founder of East Sussex Wildlife Rescue and Animal Service (WRAS) said: “Once a bird is caught and the owner of the building is made aware, then the bird is classed as captive and the Animal Welfare Act comes into force. As a result, you could be committing an offence.

Netting can be a very efficient way of stopping birds gaining access or preventing roosting but frequently we see the wrong size netting being used, or netting that is badly erected or not maintained. This is a real hazard to wildlife and birds.”

Mark O’Brien, Acting Director of Response and Resilience said,  On occasions, the fire service may be called to these types of incidents when requested to do so by partner agencies,
due to the bird being in distress. Whilst local fire crews are deployed to these types of incidents, they are not available to carry out important community safety work.
“If you have netting on your property therefore, please ensure any damage is quickly repaired and regular checks are performed to reduce the risk to wildlife and the need for Fire Service involvement in these types of incidents.”

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