The RSPCA is appealing for information after a tiny kitten was found stuck by her head to a glue trap and is urging the public to get in touch and report details of any shops that are still selling them to the public.
The call comes after a member of the public contacted the RSPCA to to say they had found a collapsed kitten with her mouth glued together after she was stuck on a glue trap in the Camberwell area of London on Saturday, 22 July.
The concerned finders had used olive oil in a bid to remove her from the trap. She is only aged around four weeks old.
She was taken by RSPCA Inspector Nick Wheelhouse to the RSPCA Putney Animal Hospital where she was found to be extremely hypothermic. She was bathed in a warm solution to remove the remaining glue and to warm her up. However she was suffering from hypothermia, so at this stage her prognosis is guarded given how young she is.
The young kitten has been named Dobby.
RSPCA inspector Nick Wheelhouse said: “What happened to Dobby is just another example of why we have concerns for the use of glue traps. These cruel traps are indiscriminate and cause unnecessary suffering to animals with everything from snakes, robins, owls and kittens.
“The public should be made aware of the risk these horrific devices pose to non-target species.
“Sadly, many animals, especially birds, have to be euthanised because the damage done is just too great. It is not a humane trap for any animal as they are not killed outright and have to undergo prolonged periods of distress before they are then found and dispatched.
“Poor little Dobby can pull through, and she is just another unnecessary victim of this cruel contraption which causes horrific suffering.”
Dobby has now been transferred to the care of the RSPCA Tunbridge Wells and Maidstone Branch where she will be hand-reared.
The RSPCA wants people to get in touch to report details of any shops that are still selling glue traps to the public.
The cruel traps are indiscriminate and cause unnecessary suffering to animals. Only trained operators should use them according to industry codes of practice, so retailers should not be selling them to the general public.
Animal welfare charity RSPCA opposes the manufacture, sale and use of glue traps because of the unnecessary suffering they cause to animals. The traps are so indiscriminate that the animal welfare charity has had to rescue species as diverse as owls, robins and kittens which have become stuck in them.
The lethal – but sadly still legal – traps (also known as ‘glue boards’ or ‘sticky boards) consist of a sheet of cardboard, plastic or wood coated with non-drying adhesive.
Llewelyn Lowen, the RSPCA’s scientific information officer, said: “We’re opposed to the manufacture, sale and use of all glue traps because they cause unacceptable suffering and are totally indiscriminate in what they catch.
“Glue traps may seem like an effective way to catch rodents without killing them, but they come with very serious welfare issues and subject those animals unfortunate enough to get caught to horrific suffering. Even the way they’re designed to catch animals – by sticking their limbs to the board as they cross it – inflicts pain and distress.
“Once the poor animal is stuck, they begin to struggle to free themselves, and in doing so, more and more parts of their body become trapped in the glue. In their increasing panic and desperation to escape, rats and mice have been found to tear patches of their fur out, break bones, and even gnaw their own limbs off in a bid to be free.
Mr Lowen continued: “After only three to five hours, trapped animals have been found exhausted and covered in their own faeces and urine. Many animals die within the first 24 hours from starvation, dehydration, exhaustion, or even suffocation – caused by the glue blocking their nasal passages. But many continue to suffer for long after that. If the animal is found while still alive many people may then try to kill them, perhaps by drowning or some other method that then causes further suffering. Other people may just dump the live animal and the trap in a rubbish bin, or they might not even check on the trap at all.”
If you see an animal you have concerns about please call the RSPCA’s emergency line on 0300 1234 999 – however, never try to free an animal from a snare or trap – you risk hurting yourself and the animal. Stay back to avoid stressing the animal and call the RSPCA with the location.
RPCA’s “Wild Animals and Glue Traps” project
For the past two years, the RSPCA has been running a “Wild Animals and Glue Traps” project. The charity feels that if these traps have to be used, they should only be used by trained professionals. As part of this project, the RSPCA is asking that anyone who sees glue traps on sale to the general public to get in contact at firstname.lastname@example.org with:
Name and address of the store where the traps are being sold (include postcode where possible).
The manager or owner of the store concerned (if known) and the address if different to above.
The date the traps were seen on sale.
The RSPCA will then write to the retailer and ask them to consider stopping the sale of glue traps at their store, remove all glue traps from their stock and not to re-stocking them in the future – to prevent the problem reoccurring. The project has been very successful and many stockists have taken these traps off their shelves. For example, the RSPCA made Amazon UK aware of the sale of rodent glue traps on their site and, in line with Amazon’s pre-existing policy against such traps; they then promptly had the items removed. For more information on the project, please visit: www.rspca.org.uk/adviceandwelfare/wildlife/livingwith
To help the RSPCA continue rescuing, rehabilitating and rehoming animals in desperate need of care please visit: www.rspca.org.uk/give or text LOVE to 87023 to give £3 (Text costs £3 + one standard network rate message).