Entangled Wildlife Australia


Part A:

Fruit tree netting remains a serious threat to a diverse array of native wildlife. Horrendous injuries, suffering and death are caused by the use of wide aperture, monofilament netting - 'slice and dice' netting, as it is commonly known.

Volunteer wildlife rescuers and carers in Australia expend considerable effort to help animals, birds and reptiles that become entangled in this inappropriate fruit tree netting. The impact upon wildlife from netting injuries is a major concern in terms of animal welfare and biodiversity. Every measure that can be taken to reduce or remove such risks will have a positive impact not only on our wildlife but also on wildlife volunteers and wildlife hospitals.

Victoria has implemented new netting regulations which demonstrate a clear commitment to animal welfare. These updated netting regulations, which will reduce the unnecessary, cruel maiming and death of native wildlife, will come into play on the 1 September 2021 

(See attachment: Division 2-Sale and use of Netting for Fruiting Plants-Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Regulations 2019).

Summary of Regulation:

1. A person must not use fruit netting for the purposes of covering household fruit trees, vegetable gardens and other fruiting plants unless it complies with subregulation (3).

2. A person must not advertise or offer for sale fruit netting for the purpose of covering household fruit trees, vegetable gardens and other fruiting plants unless it complies with subregulation (3).

3. For the purpose of this regulation, fruit tree netting must have a mesh size  of 5 mm x 5 mm or less at full stretch.

Penalties apply for use of incorrect netting = 15 penalty units @ $165.22/penalty unit = Penalty of $2,478.30


Given this positive step in Victoria, it is hoped that Queensland and NSW will adopt similar regulations to reduce the wildlife carnage and misery caused by substandard netting.

Most netting products which meet the required specification are sold in white, making the need to regulate colour less necessary. 

The strand diameter, which should be no less than 500 microns, is not always provided when sold, making it difficult for the community to meet this requirement,

However, setting maximum dimensions for the mesh size of fruit tree netting will greatly minimise the risks of entanglement of wildlife.

Please contact your Department of Agriculture Minister in Queensland or NSW, who are responsible for regulating the sale of household fruit tree netting, to request they follow Victoria's lead by adopting the more responsible, humane fruit tree netting regulations.

Queensland: The Hon Mark Furner, Minister for Agriculture & Fisheries

agriculture@ministerial.qld.gov.au

Ph: 07 3719 7420

GPO Box 46, Brisbane, Queensland, 4001

NSW: The Hon Adam Marshall, Minister for Agriculture & Minister for Western NSW

webform@marshall.minister.nsw.gov.au

Ph: 02 8574 5450

GPO Box 5341, Sydney, NSW 2001

Part B

Australia-wide database of wildlife entanglements:

Contact Name: Leonard Fitzpatrick

Contact Email: entangledwildlifeaustralia@ihug.com.au

The key goals of this citizen science project is to raise awareness about the risks to wildlife from a diverse range of entanglements. 

The task is to record sightings of native wildlife entangled in barbed wire, fruit netting, fishing line/tackle/fishing nets or other forms of entanglement in discarded rubbish

If the entangled animal is alive, please first call your nearest wildlife rescue group before recording its details and location in the app. If the animal is deceased, please record this in the app. along with a photo for verification purposes and to minimise possible duplication of a recording or a sighting.

Flying-foxes, seabirds, water fowl, gliders, owls, marine mammals, turtles, macropods and reptiles are some of the species that unfortunately become entangled and suffer horrendous injuries, frequently causing death.

The collation and end use of this data will benefit from widespread community involvement. It is intended that by building a solid body of data that action can be taken to encourage increased awareness of the risk of entanglement to wildlife and to advocate for risk minimisation initiatives such as changes to legislation enforcing responsible disposal of rubbish and penalties for those who do not comply with the law.

Project site:

https://biocollect.ala.org.au/...

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