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Entangled animal

Hazard Knowledge

Animals may become entangled by various items including:

  • Fencing – electric, high tensile electric, barbed wire or razor wire
  • Snares or traps
  • Cattle grids
  • Electric cables
  • Telegraph lines
  • Fishing wire
  • Nets
  • Trees, including their root structures

In addition to dealing with the hazard presented by the animal, other hazards may include:

  • Electricity – for further information refer to the National Operational Guidance: Utilities and fuel
  • Sharp metal
  • Biohazards, especially if the animal is injured

High tensile (H-T or HT) fencing

High tensile (H-T or HT) fencing is a special hard, springy steel wire that presents a significant hazard. The wire may be a single strand plain or barbed wire, or woven mesh, and is capable of much higher tension than mild steel. It permits the use of wider post gaps and is not easily stretched by animals, fallen trees or branches. It can be insulated and electrified. Unless unavoidable, high tensile fencing should not be interfered with or cut.

Cattle grids

A cattle grid comprises rows of metal bars, usually set into the road surface to prevent animals such as cattle, sheep, goats and deer from crossing it. Cattle grids can be made from circular hollow section tubes through to heavy-duty steel.

If a large animal attempts to cross a cattle grid, it may become entangled, resulting in severe injuries that require treatment by a veterinary surgeon. Equines are particularly vulnerable to cattle grid injuries; their legs may slip down between the grids into the area below. This may lead to their legs being broken, especially if they panic when trying to extricate themselves.