THE RSPCA is warning about the dangers of netting after a fox became tangled in a football goal and was put down at a Swanley primary school yesterday (January 2).

An eagle-eyed passer-by spotted the trapped fox at Hextable primary school in Rowhill Road and reported it.

RSPCA inspector Zenon Brown, who arrived to rescue the struggling creature, said he was not able to access the property and had no option but to humanely euthanase the fox through the fence.

He is urging people to store netting away when it is not in use to prevent injuries to wild animals.

He said: "The fox was three feet from the main fence. It was smothered in netting and tightly entangled in it. I had few options as the fence could not be climbed."

"The fox was clearly stressed and suffering and leaving it overnight was not an option as it would have suffered further."

Inspector Brown added: "These rescues are very stressful for the animal and hazardous to the rescuer because you are dealing with a wild animal that is struggling to free itself and suffering terribly.

"It may have been looking for food in the wildness of a garden or an area like this and accidentally walked into the net. Unlike us, they do not know to back up and step out.

"These situations can be avoided if people were to remove or raise netting when it is not in use and store it away in a shed or garage. We would urge anyone with netting on their property to check it regularly for trapped wildlife."

Hextable primary school headteacher Suzie Hall said the nets have been removed and will ensure they are stored securely.

She said: "We are very saddened to hear that the fox was injured and had to be destroyed.

"We have removed the nets and will make sure they are securely tied out of reach so this type of incident does not happen again.

"We have contacted Kent County Council and they will be letting all schools know about the dangers to animals when leaving sports nets out."