Bird Netting Laws

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Victoria introduced regulatory changes this week that require the mesh used by households to be thin enough so that creatures don`t get stuck and perish. Fines of up to $2700 can be applied for the sale or use of unauthorized nets. From 1 September 2021, nets used to protect fruit trees, vegetable gardens or other fruit plants shall have a mesh size of 5 mm or less when fully stretched. “Despite public awareness campaigns, many animals in fruit tree nets are seriously injured or killed because people continue to use inappropriate types of nets to protect their trees,” a spokeswoman said. Gardeners have to deal with backyard lightning on nets with new laws to protect wildlife, making sure wildlife doesn`t get stuck in fruit tree nets by using the right safe net to protect your trees. Animal Welfare Victoria recently launched its “Safe Harvest” campaign to raise awareness of changes to fruit net requirements for Victorian households, which will come into effect on September 1, 2021. The Safe Harvesting fact sheet below provides information on what you need to do, including tips for a compliant wildlife-friendly net. Remember that old nets, if discarded, can still pose a risk of entanglement. If you plan to dispose of the old net in the landfill, it is recommended to first put it in a solid, biodegradable bag. All existing household fruit fillets that do not comply with this specification will have to be replaced by appropriate fillets from 1 September 2021. Victoria`s bills will be available to the public until September.

To protect wildlife from fruit tree nets, new regulations have been introduced under the Victoria Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Regulations. The new provisions came into force on 1 September 2021 and require that all nets used to protect fruit trees, vegetable gardens or other fruit plants have a mesh size not exceeding 5 mm x 5 mm when fully stretched. The use of inappropriate fruit nets is the leading cause of injury and death to fruit bats in Victoria. The net with a large mesh is more likely to involve birds, opossums or fruit bats. Your subsequent struggle to free yourself can cause deep cuts and strangulations, often leading to death. “By switching to the right net, native fruit tree growers will make a huge difference to the welfare of wildlife in this state. Failure to comply with this Regulation may result in a fine under the POCTA Rules. The maximum penalty for the use of fruit fillets that are not compliant or for advertising or offering fillets that do not comply for sale for home-grown plants is 15 penalty units ($2726.10 as of July 1, 2021). Violations of two punitive units ($363.48) and four penalties ($726.96) as of July 1, 2021 may also be issued for the use or sale of non-compliant nets. For decades, passionate gardeners have covered their precious fruit trees and flowers with nets to protect them from wildlife hunting. If you use nets to protect your fruit or vegetable crop at home, you must meet this new mandatory requirement introduced under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Regulations, 2019 (POCTA Regulations).

Deaths included fruit bats, magpies, opossums and sulfur-crested cockatoos, with Wildlife Victoria responding to 285 net cases in 2020. The Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Bill proposes all household fruit nets: “At full speed, they must have meshes of 5 mm or less, be white and have a strand diameter of at least 500 microns.” The RSPCA recommends that gardeners check their net at least twice a day to make sure animals are not caught. In March 2018, 44 rainbow lorises were trapped in nets covering an apple tree in a Melbourne suburb, and 25 of them died. Jane introduces us to a new law that has come into force in Victoria, for the net commonly used on fruit trees and in gardens. If you want to buy a new net, you`ll need to purchase a network that meets these specifications to make sure you`re complying with the regulations. The Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA) said that if the net was not used in the right way, it could pose a serious risk to animals such as fruit bats, birds, opossums and even snakes. It may be easier to protect the selected branches than to connect the entire tree. A range of pockets, sleeves and socks are available to protect the fruits on individual branches. If approved, the Victoria backyard blitz would mean that anyone using illegal nets could be fined $330, and someone who sells or promotes illegal nets could be fined $660.

Anyone who finds a sales or advertising network that doesn`t comply with state regulations could also face a maximum fine of nearly $2,500. Fruits on trees and houseplants are a tempting treat for hungry wildlife. Netting is a popular method of fruit protection, but inappropriate types of nets can kill or injure animals such as birds, opossums, or fruit bats. In an Australian first, the Victorian government wants to legislate on the colour and size of nets used to protect fruit trees and vegetable beds. Victoria is home to many wildlife species that feed on fruit, including birds, bats (fruit bats) and opossums. The government said the new laws would help protect wildlife and authorized officials would have the power to investigate all reports of illegal nets. The use of appropriate mesh nets will promote a productive harvest while protecting our endangered wildlife from damage. Reducing the mesh size of the nets will significantly reduce the risk of entanglement of animals.

The Regulation applies to both the sale and use of household fruit fillets. It does not apply to the sale or use of nets in commercial circumstances. Further advice on protecting fruit trees and wildlife and supporting wildlife trapped in tree nets is available from Animal Welfare Victoria. Getting help quickly is crucial for wild animals caught in nets. If wildlife is involved in the nets, do not try to handle or save the animal. Call a wildlife rescue group to safely remove the animal. “When you go to someone`s house and you see a small animal fighting against the net, it`s a terribly sad situation. Many animals are so badly injured that they have to be euthanized,” Palma said.

In general, it is the “domestic” fruit trees, vegetable gardens or other fruit plants that are cultivated: but in an Australian ridge, it is now the prey that is protected. Birds and Foxes Damage to Orchard Crops: Identification Guide (DOC)Ornithological Foxes and Flies Damage to Orchards: Identification Guide (PDF). The Australian Tax Office (ATO) website contains information to help people determine whether their fruit or vegetable growing activities are a hobby or a business. The ATO makes it clear that there is no single factor that determines whether a person is in business. Backyard gardeners could face fines of nearly $2,500 if they are not careful to cover their fruit trees with nets. Because Victorian wildlife is protected by law, it`s important to protect the fruit trees in your garden from Victorian wildlife that feeds on them in a way that is safe for wildlife.