NSW Wildlife Information, Rescue and Education Service Murray River branch warns of brutal barbed wire

BARBED wire fences at Albury homes continue to hurt wildlife, with one group reporting 13 entangled animal incidents in November.

NSW Wildlife Information, Rescue and Education Service Murray River branch secretary Hazel Cook said people did not realise how dangerous barbed wire could be.

“A lot of night animals, they don’t see the wire, they run into the wire, they get hooked up,” she said.

Brushtail possums, squirrel gliders, sugar gliders, kookaburras, tawny frogmouths and raptors can all be at risk from the barbs.

“A glider too, doesn’t really have much chance,” Mrs Cook said.

“It’s gliding down, a) it doesn’t know that the barbed wire’s there and b) once you start gliding, you can’t very well turn back.”

“They get hooked up in the barb, they try to get out and sometimes they go round and round in circles, around the barb.

“They could literally be hooked up for 24 hours before somebody sees them.

“The blood supply stops, so the little hole, which might be a little pinprick hole as big as the barbed wire gets bigger and bigger and bigger and sometimes with the gliders they virtually end up with no membrane on one side, therefore they can’t glide. 

“I’ve had squirrel gliders where their whole tail has fallen off.”

Many of the injured animals later have to be euthanased, for example WIRES is caring for a flying fox pup whose mother was caught in barbed wire and had to be put down.

Mrs Cook said she understood farms might need barbed wire, but urged residential homeowners to remove the hazardous fencing.

“They live in, say, Albury or Thurgoona or somewhere, it doesn’t need to be there,” she said.

“It’s awareness, I’m not going crook at anybody.

“They just don’t know unless it happens to them and then they feel awful.”

Mrs Cook thanked members of the public who supported her group as well as agencies like the police, fire brigades and electricity providers who assisted as required.

Anybody finding an injured animal is encouraged to contact WIRES or Wildlife Victoria straight away.

“The sooner we can get these guys, the sooner we can do something about it,” Mrs Cook said.