The RSPCA is warning about the dangers of glue traps after a robin had to be rescued when he got stuck on one in Luton.

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The animal welfare charity was called on Thursday (18 August) after the robin was spotted on the trap in the garden of a house in Stoneygate Road.

Kate Wright, animal collection officer (ACO), attended the incident. She said: “The person who put the trap down was absolutely horrified. He had put it down because of rats but when he saw the robin on it he was really upset and realised the damage that glue traps can do. He said that after seeing it, he would never use a glue trap again and wished he hadn’t put one down in the first place.

“The poor robin had got one of his wings completely stuck in the glue and was unable to move at all. I took him to a private wildlife centre and thankfully he is doing well. He has a few lesions from the trap but he is recovering and it is hoped that he will soon be released back into the wild.

“He had a lucky escape because it does not always turn out this way when an animal gets stuck on a glue trap. If he had been left there then he would have died a slow death from dehydration, starvation or exhaustion.

“When animals cross the glue trap board they become stuck by their feet and when the struggle, other parts of their body then become stuck. In attempting to get free they may rip out patches of fur, break bones and even gnaw through their own limbs to escape. Glue traps are inhumane and indiscriminate and we urge people to think twice before using one.”

The RSPCA is opposed to the manufacture, sale and use of all glue traps because they cause unacceptable suffering to both the target species and other non-target species which fall victim to them.

Glue traps – also known as ‘glue boards’ or ‘sticky boards’ – consist of a sheet of cardboard, plastic or wood coated with non-drying adhesive. Unfortunately, it is legal to use them to catch rats and mice. It is an offence under the Wildlife and Countryside Act to kill or injure wild birds so anyone using them should take precautions to avoid death or injury to protected animals or wildlife as these traps are indiscriminate.

Anyone with any information about shops selling glue traps to the public can contact the wildlife department by emailing wildlife@rspca.org.uk. To report a live animal caught in a glue trap, contact the RSPCA’s cruelty line on 0300 1234 999. For information on our “Wild Animals and Glue Traps” project, please visit our website at http://www.rspca.org.uk/adviceandwelfare/wildlife/livingwith.

The RSPCA is a charity and we rely on public donations to exist. To assist our inspectors in carrying out their vital work please text HELP to 78866 to give £3. (Texts cost £3 + one standard network rate message.)