RSPCA’s warning after animals are found entangled in garden football nets

The RSPCA is warning of the dangers of netting to wildlife and is bracing itself to deal with hundreds of entanglement incidents as fans get inspired by Euro 2020.

Friday, 25th June 2021, 8:20 am
Last year the charity was called out to 18 animals affected by all types of netting in East Yorkshire last year.

Last year the charity was called out to 18 animals affected by all types of netting in East Yorkshire last year.

Of the 503 nation-wide incidents reported to the RSPCA about wild mammals tangled in netting in 2020, 223 were related to foxes, 155 were hedgehogs and 104 deer.

Recent case studies the RSPCA has been called out to rescue include:

○ A juvenile fox rescued by the RSPCA after getting caught by his neck and leg in football netting in a garden

○ A “fox in the box” scoring an own goal after getting caught in football goal netting in a back garden

○ A not-so cunning fox had to be rescued by the RSPCA after she was found trapped in some football netting which almost strangled her

In just three weeks in June this year, the animal charity had received at least 30 netting entanglement reports, 20 of which related to foxes or fox cubs and the remainder being other species such as hedgehogs, deer, rabbits and birds such as gulls and crows.

RSPCA scientific officer Evie Button said: “Football and other types of netting may be fun for humans but can be very dangerous for wild animals if they are left out overnight. The RSPCA receives hundreds of calls every year to rescue animals – often wildlife – who have become tangled in netting on sporting equipment or garden nets.

“Already this year, the number of call-outs to rescue animals caught up in nets are up on 2020 and in the past couple of months, we have had a spate of young foxes in particular becoming entangled. We suspect that people’s enthusiasm for Euro 2020 may have inspired increased numbers of amateur football nets to be put up in gardens.

“To report concerns about an animal, call the RSPCA’s emergency line on 0300 1234 999 or visit the website www.rspca.org.uk/adviceandwelfare/wildlife/injuredanimals.

“Please do not try to free the animal from the netting yourself, as animals can have serious injuries if they become tightly entangled.”