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Chicken wire, cat netting and fishing nets.

Updated: May 5, 2022

Chicken wire, cat netting and fishing nets. The above three are often responsible for the entrapment of native wildlife, in particular our reptiles.


Reptiles can become easily trapped due to their scales facing in the one direction (backwards).


Snake and lizards can attempt to move forward though the wire or net, but when their own body girth exceeds the width of the opening they become stuck and cannot move back through as the wire and/or net becomes stuck under the partially lifted scale.


By this stage the animal can become very distressed, and if it's a hot day or they are in direct sunlight they can overheat and die, however this process may take several hours, up to several days or weeks.


Best prevention to avoid such a scenario occurring is to use the appropriate material for the right job, and install it correctly.


For chicken coops and bird aviaries: Snake proof mice mesh or aviary wire is ideal.

It has a small aperture that will not only block anything from passing through (such as pesky mice) the aperture is so small a lizard or snake cannot pass through and get trapped.




Cat netting for outdoor cat spaces should be installed to be very taught. Cat netting is also available in varying apertures. With thats said, a reptile may still be able to pass through, but by installing the netting correctly neatly and taught it will reduce the likely hood of entrapment.


The image below is an example of incorrect cat netting installation.



Regular inspections on netting and chicken wire should be done.


When fishing it is your obligation to clean up after yourself and check that you have not left anything behind, or do not leave nets un attending for several days.


The below image is an example of an opera house net that was abandoned at a local dam.

Luckily for this snake it was in a shaded area. Had it not been the snake would have over heated and die.



Fishing line, hooks and damaged nets should also be taken away or disposed of in the correct manor in order to avoid wildlife becoming injured and entrapped.


What to do if you find a snake or lizard trapped in netting or wire?


For a small lizard such as a blue tongue skink, you maybe able to free the animal yourself without significant risk to ones self (yes they can still bite).


The lizard should then be assessed by a vet or wildlife carer.


A large lizard such as a lace monitor will require a skilled an experienced person to complete the task as they are deemed more dangerous.


A venomous snake will require the assistance of an experienced snake catcher such as myself.

There are a few things you can do in the mean time which include insuring the snake is not a risk to any person or animal in the immediate area.

An individual may need to stand by the keep an eye on the snake and alert any passers by as to the situation.

Shade is very important, so if you are confident enough a snake catcher will guide you through how to provide shade for the snake in a safe manner. Sometime a towel (wet or dry) sheet ect can be carefully placed over the snake until the snake catcher arrives.


NOTE!


Household fruit netting regulations – commenced 1 September 2021.


From 1 September 2021, netting used to protect household fruit-trees, vegetable gardens, or other fruiting plants must have a mesh size, of 5mm x 5mm or less at full stretch.

If you use netting to protect your household fruit or vegetable harvest you will need to comply with this new mandatory requirement introduced under Victoria’s Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Regulations 2019 (POCTA Regulations).


Any existing household fruit netting that does not meet this specification must be replaced with appropriate netting from the 1 September 2021 commencement date.

Don’t forget that old netting, when discarded, can still be an entanglement risk. If you plan to dispose of old netting to landfill it is recommended that you place it into a strong biodegradable bag first.


The regulation applies to both the sale and use of household fruit netting. It does not apply to sale or use of netting in commercial circumstances.


Failure to comply with this regulation could result in a fine under the POCTA Regulations. The maximum penalty for using fruit netting that does not comply or for advertising or offering non-compliant netting for sale for household fruiting plants is 15 penalty units ($2726.10 as at 1 July 2021). Infringements of two penalty units ($363.48) and four penalty units ($726.96), as at 1 July 2021, can also be issued for use, or sale, of non-compliant netting, respectively.


*(Use of fruit netting – harvest without harm, 2022)










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