Victim of inhumane glue trap - photo courtesy of Januartha (flickr.com)
Think occasionally of the suffering of which you spare yourself the sight. ~Albert Schweitzer
According to the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), glue traps (or glue boards), devices usually consisting of a piece of cardboard or plastic covered with extremely sticky adhesive, “are responsible for more suffering than virtually any other wildlife control product on the market.” Despite the ready availability of humane alternatives, the pest control industry continues to sell these inhumane devices to consumers who wish to “control” rodent populations.
Did You Know?
Despite stereotypes to the contrary, mice and rats are very clean animals, grooming themselves several times daily. These social creatures spend time with their families and are less likely than cats and dogs to become carriers and transmitters of viruses and parasites. Studies have shown that rats can recognize and respond to their names when called (as can mice) and, when tickled, make laughter-like sounds.
Caught in a Trap
While glue traps are generally designed to catch small animals, larger animals often become their unintended victims. Large animals may be able to escape from these sticky snares, however they may lose fur or skin in the process. Panicked animals often end up covered in their own urine and feces, which are sources of hantavirus and can cause health concerns for humans. The HSUS notes, “Some rodents have been seen biting through their own limbs in an attempt to free themselves” from these torturous traps. It can be hours and sometimes days before trapped animals are found, and those released from glue traps often die later from injuries, stress or other effects of the glue. A report from People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) states, “The makers of these devices generally state that trapped animals should be thrown away with the trap—leaving animals to suffer for days.”
The soul is the same in all living creatures, although the body of each is different. ~Hippocrates
An Undignified End
When a small animal is caught in a glue trap, a slow, agonizing process begins from which escape is nearly impossible. The HSUS reports, “It may take three to five days for an animal to die, perhaps even longer for a reptile. Some animals succumb to exhaustion, collapse face down in the glue and die of suffocation when the glue lodges in their nasal passages—a process that can take anywhere from three to 24 hours. Most often death comes from a combination of exhaustion, dehydration and starvation.”
Glue Traps Do Not Discriminate
Many families have been distressed to find their cats and other companion animals caught in glue traps. According to the HSUS, “There are numerous reports of cats becoming stuck and requiring veterinary help, sometimes surgery, to remove the trap.” Even protected animals, such as migratory birds, have been known to fall victim to glue traps.
The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated. ~Mahatma Gandhi
What You Can Do To Help Reduce Animal Suffering
Sleeping mouse - photo courtesy of e3000 (flickr.com)
PETA’s website offers the following information for the humane control of rodent population:
“The problem of rodent intrusion is largely preventable by maintaining clean, sanitary conditions and plugging holes or cracks where mice or rats might enter a building. If traps are needed to remove mice or rats, humane box-type traps are available from humane societies and hardware stores and at PETACatalog.com. These traps are made from either plastic or metal and have a spring-release trap door at one end that closes behind the animal once he or she enters the trap. The trap can then be taken outside so that the animal can be released. When using these, be sure to check them every hour because rodents have a high rate of metabolism and quickly become thirsty when they are frightened.”
Several major companies, including Rite Aid, Safeway, Albertson’s and CVS have made the compassionate decision to stop selling glue traps, however Wal-Mart, Target, Home Depot, Kroger and Lowe’s continues to carry these cruel devices. Please visit the PETA website Action Center to ask Lowe’s to stop selling glue traps (and to see what else you can do to take action to help animals).