RSPCA Euro plea after foxes get caught in garden football nets
Animal rescuers at the RSPCA are urging football fans to take care during the Euros after scores of incidents of foxes getting caught up in goal nets.
The charity said it has already received more reports about dangerously entangled foxes and other wild animals than the same period last year.
In just three weeks in June this year, the RSCPA had already 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.
The animal charity said it had already taken 1,139 calls about animals entangled in sports, garden and deterrence netting this year, compared to 1,127 calls for the same period in 2020.
Figures for the whole of 2020 show there were 34 incidents of animals getting caught in nets in Tyne and Wear, and 19 in County Durham.
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 and sports fields around the country and young, curious foxes are unaware of the dangers.”