Deer toll mounts due to poor fencing practices24/09/2008 11:55:51 Deer casualty numbers double.
September 2008. Deer and other wildlife are dying unnecessarily from being caught in wire fencing and discarded netting. East Sussex Wildlife Rescue & Ambulance Service has dealt with 18 cases of deer caught in stock fencing or netting this year, compared with 7 in all of 2007.
The voluntary wildlife rescue charity is appealing to farmers to stop using strands of plain or barbed wire when erecting new or replacing fencing especially in areas where there are deer.
"Last week we had two calls about young deer caught in stock fencing, at Dallington near Heathfield and another at Cripps Corner near Battle. The young female caught at Dallington is the third deer this year to be caught in the same new fencing erected earlier this year" said Trevor Weeks, founder of WRAS.
Discarded netting & wire
Most deer which are entangled in netting can normally be released after a check over, but deer caught in stock fencing are not so lucky and normally need specialist orthopaedic veterinary help to rebuild the blood supply and use of the foot on the leg which was caught.
"Deer can kick very hard indeed, I had the bruises in the past to prove it! However, if you see a deer caught up, please do not approach it and do not cut it free. Call us for help. It is easier and safer for us to deal with the deer whilst caught than once it is struggling to escape across a field" said Trevor.
"This problem can be avoided on new fences by using a wider mesh where the additional height is required. On existing fences the fly wires [such as plain or barbed wire] should be removed and a top rail added at regular deer crossing places or ‘hot spots'. The use of barbed wire on woodland boundary fences should be avoided where deer are present."
"The removal of discarded netting, picking up bailer twine, storing electric fencing when not in use, removing goal netting when pitches are not in use (EG on school playing fields during holidays) are sensible and easy ways of avoiding these other problems from occurring." added Trevor, "so I urge all landowners to look at changing the way they construct fencing."
Plea to help deer.