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October 13, 2015

Rodent Glue Traps are Cruel and Should Be Banned, says new HSI/UK Celebrity-Backed Campaign

New poll shows 68 per cent of Brits support a glue trap ban

Humane Society International/UK

  • wildcat78/istock

Millions of rats and mice experience prolonged cruelty from glue traps, a widely used inhumane rodent control product, says animal welfare charity Humane Society International/UK. The organisation launched its #Unstuck campaign to highlight the cruelty of rodent glue traps and to call for a UK sale ban on the devices, which are already outlawed on animal welfare grounds in New Zealand and Ireland. Celebrity wildlife experts Nick Baker and Iolo Williams from BBC’s Spring/Autumn Watch, as well as Downton Abbey’s Peter Egan, have given the campaign their backing.

Glue traps are designed to capture, but not kill, the target animal/s. Rats and mice can be left struggling for hours or days in the super-strong adhesive, eventually suffocating as the glue clogs up their mouth or nose. Many animals have been found to tear or even attempt to bite off their limbs whilst trying to escape. In the UK, glue traps are widely available online as well as in corner shops, hardware stores, garden centres, and even some chemists and pet shops.

Research outlined in HSI/UK’s new report Inhumane, Indiscriminate, Indefensible, including a new YouGov opinion poll reveals that:

  • Almost 70 per cent of people agree that glue traps should be banned in the UK.        
  • Half of people either wouldn’t know what to do with a live animal attached to a trap, or would deal with it in such a way as to risk committing an offence under the Animal Welfare Act (2006). This includes nine per cent who would recommend drowning the animal while still glued to the trap and three per cent who would recommend leaving the animal to die on the trap and a further three per cent who said throw the trap away with the live animal still attached.

Claire Bass, executive director for Humane Society International/UK, said:
“Rodent glue traps are hideous devices that can cause extended and extreme suffering, which we wouldn’t dream of inflicting upon other animals. Rats and mice may be tiny in size but they still have a great capacity to suffer. We’re heartened to see the majority of the British public support a ban and, until we get that ban in place, we’re asking people to join us in calling on wholesalers and retailers to take these barbaric devices off shop shelves.”

Take action to support the #Unstuck campaign.

Wildlife experts and TV presenters Nick Baker and Iolo Williams, are backing the #Unstuck campaign.

Baker said: “I’ve always been shocked and disgusted by the cruelty of glue traps and fully support this campaign for a ban. We wouldn't dream of subjecting pet rats or mice, or indeed other wild animals, to this horrible ordeal and yet these products are sold across the country without any consideration for animal welfare. Gluing rodents to death is intolerable, there are far more humane and effective ways of keeping our homes rodent-free.”  

Iolo Williams said: “I was horrified to see the unnecessary suffering caused by these glue traps for rats and mice. We shouldn’t cruelly treat any wild creature, regardless of its species, nor reach for barbaric products to exterminate them. This just isn’t acceptable, there is simply no need to exert such cruelty." 

Actor Peter Egan also expressed his compassion for creatures great and small. Peter said: “It shouldn't matter whether it's a mouse or a monkey, we must treat all sentient creatures with compassion. These little animals suffer in huge numbers almost unnoticed, enduring a dreadful end to their little lives. I hope we follow Ireland and New Zealand's lead and ban glue traps for good!”

This month the Law Commission will publish its review of UK wildlife legislation and its proposal for a new and simple wildlife law, including provisions governing the management of so-called ‘pest’ species. HSI/UK has submitted a robust case for a glue trap ban to be included.

HSI’s Bass said: “Current UK wildlife laws are an inadequate patchwork of inconsistencies, with mice, rats and other so-called ‘pest’ species receiving the least protection of all animals. Our wildlife laws need to do better; they need to protect all animals from suffering.”

Take action to support the #Unstuck campaign here.

Media Contact: Wendy Higgins, whiggins@hsi.org +44(0)7989 972 423

Notes to editors:

All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc. Total sample size was 2,044 adults. Fieldwork was undertaken between 16th and 17th June 2015. The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all GB adults (aged 18+).

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