Mansfield Courier

Council updates fruit netting regulation­s to protect birds

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FROM September 2 netting used to protect household fruit-trees, vegetable gardens, or other fruiting plants at residentia­l premises must have a mesh size of 5mm x 5mm or less at full stretch.

Kevin Murphy, community safety coordinato­r, said that using netting with an appropriat­e mesh size supported a productive harvest while protecting vulnerable wildlife from harm.

“Netting with large mesh size is more likely to entangle birds, possums or flying foxes,” said Mr Murphy.

“Alternativ­es are also available for those who would prefer to avoid mesh, including fruit bags that are placed over individual branches and bird scaring devices.”

Failure to comply with this new regulation puts home gardeners at risk of being heavily fined under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Regulation­s 2019.

“The use of white netting may also make it easier for nocturnal animals to see and avoid it in low light and at night,” said Mr Murphy.

“If you’ve got old netting lying around, don’t forget to discard it properly so it doesn’t pose an entangleme­nt risk.

“We recommend putting old netting into a strong biodegrada­ble bag before putting into landfill.”

For more informatio­n visit animalwelf­are.vic. gov.au/netting or call 136 186.

 ??  ?? THE RIGHT SIZE: An example of the correct netting to be used from September.
THE RIGHT SIZE: An example of the correct netting to be used from September.

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