Increase in Deer caught in Electric Fencing

Volunteers from a animal charity are growing increasingly concerned about the frequency in which they are being called out to tackle deer caught in electric fencing and other materials.

East Sussex Wildlife Rescue and Ambulance Service (WRAS) has attended four incidents this year so far. They have also attended 4 other deer caught in stock fencing and/or rope this year too - making eight in total so far this year.

"This might not seem like much but compared to last year as well as other years this is much more," said Trevor Weeks, "Last year we had 1 incident of electric fencing and 2 incidents of stock fencing or rope entanglements. Previous years we have had only 1 or 2 in total."

Today (Tuesday 2nd October 07) a deer was found caught in electric fencing near Chailey, the adult deer was caught and the electric fencing cat free by volunteer WRAS rescuers who risk serious injury if they do not judge the situation right.

"These are powerful animals and they can be very difficult to catch and then restrain," said Trevor, who has been hospitalised by a road casualty deer before.

A fallow deer near Robertsbridge was cut free from electric fence only a few weeks ago by WRAS rescuers too. (Mobile Phone Video Footage Available).

Other incidents have occurred at various locations in the Chailey, Nutley, Uckfield, Heathfield areas too. As well as a young deer with its leg caught in stock fencing at Handcross just over a month ago.

Luckily all of the deer which have been rescued from electric fencing or rope have been cut free and released. However the stock fencing incidents have been less successful and several have had to go to the specialist deer unit at St Tiggywinkles in Buckinghamshire for specialist veterinary treatment after initial treatment here in Sussex.

A deer also had to be put to sleep at north of Uckfield at the weekend after being found hanging from stock fencing. This deer had to be put to sleep due to the Foot and Mouth restrictions on herd animals. (For further details please contact Trevor direct).

WRAS is urging people who own electric fencing to remove the fencing if it is not being used as on most occasions the fencing has not been in use when the deer have become caught up. "Obviously if the electric fencing is in frequent use then I would not expect someone to keep dismantling and erecting it, but if the fencing is not going to be used for some time please remove it" said Trevor, "also we urge owners of fencing to keep a close eye on their fencing and to check daily to ensure deer are not caught. The deer at Chailey today looked like it had been caught for at least 24 hours."

Last year one deer caught in camouflage netting in a wood near Uckfield died after crapping away almost 18 inches deep crater of mud whilst struggling to get free. The deer was not found for days until a dog walker discover the poor animal. Rescuers were on site within 30 minutes but the poor deer died.

- END -

Press Contact: Trevor Weeks, East Sussex WRAS, 07931 523958 (private).

Video: Some mobile phone footage of the deer rescue at Robertsbridge on 6th Sept 07, is available for use as an MP4 file. Video Camera footage of a deer caught in rope at Heathfield also available as an AVI file.

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