New fruit tree netting regulations to help protect local wildlife

To help protect local wildlife, new netting regulations have been introduced by Agriculture Victoria, effective from 1 September 2021.

If you use netting to protect household fruit trees, vegetable gardens or other plants, the mesh size must be 5mm x 5mm or less at full stretch.

Below is an example of the correct netting to use. As a guide, you should not be able to poke your finger through the netting.

Image of white netting that is accepted

To further protect wildlife when netting trees, make sure you pull the net tightly over the tree and fix the netting to the tree trunk. It is also recommended to use white netting. This makes it easier for nocturnally active animals to see and avoid the netting at night.

How do I get rid of old netting?

Old netting can still be an entanglement risk when discarded. To dispose of old netting safely, please put it in a tied bag in your rubbish bin.

Why has this regulation been introduced?

Netting is a common way to protect fruit on household trees and plants. However, netting with a large mesh size can cause animals to become entangled as they try to eat the fruit.

Entanglement can seriously injure animals, and in some cases lead to death. Reducing the mesh size of netting will greatly reduce the risk of animal entanglement and help protect our local wildlife.

This regulation has been introduced under Victoria’s Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Regulations 2019 (POCTA Regulations). Any existing household fruit netting that does not meet the specification must now be replaced with appropriate netting.

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