RSPCA warns people not to leave out football nets dozens of animals get trapped - The Solihull Observer

RSPCA warns people not to leave out football nets dozens of animals get trapped

Solihull Editorial 16th Jun, 2024   0

AN ANIMAL charity is calling on residents not to leave their football nets out after dozens of netting-related incidents in the region.

The RSPCA reported 49 cases if animals getting trapped in football nets across the West Midlands last year.

And the charity has put out the call now as footie fever soars with the Euro 2024 championship kicks off, the animal charity fears even more animals could be trapped, injured or even killed by these innocent-looking items.

RSPCA scientific officer Rebecca Machin said: “We know so many people will be getting excited about the start of Euro 2024 – and think it’s great that many will be inspired by the action, and want to get outside and have a kick around themselves.

“But unattended football and other netting can trap, injure and even kill wildlife and pets, so it’s really important to put nets safely away when they’re not being used after the game is done.

“Wild mammals like foxes, hedgehogs and deer, and even domestic pet mammals – including cats, can become potentially fatally entangled. But ahead of a difficult summer for many animals, people have the power to make a real difference.”

The charity’s advice to the public is that if a small animal – like a bird or hedgehog – is found caught up in netting, the fastest way to help it is to gently disentangle the animal themselves – where it’s safe and possible for them to do so.

But when it comes to bigger animals, the public is urged to call for expert help.

Rebecca said: “We’re all looking forward to a summer of sport – including the Euros, Copa America and the Olympics – and many of us will be having our own kick abouts in the garden. But we urge people to be aware of the dangers of football and other netting.

“Keeping animals safe is really easy. We can all play our part in helping animals by making sure unused sports netting is tidied away safely after use. But if the worst does happen, and an animal does become trapped, then as long as it’s small and manageable, and if it’s safe to do so, we’d really encourage people to try to untangle it themselves. The animal should then be taken to a vet for a check-up. The more the public can help, the more resources that will free up for our teams to focus on the terrible cruelty and neglect cases that sadly peak during the summer months.”


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