Call for crackdown on sale of illegal traps
06 April 2006
The Irish Council Against Blood Sports has called on the National Parks and Wildlife Service to initiate a crackdown on the sale of illegal glue traps. The traps are prohibited in Ireland under the Wildlife Act (Approved Traps, Snares and Nets) Regulations 2003 but continue to be sold around the country.
Glue traps are designed to catch mice and rats in a sticky base where they will suffer a slow, lingering death. Rodents caught in the traps frantically struggle to free themselves by pulling out their hair or biting off their own limbs. If they don't die from these injuries or from suffocation due to their faces becoming stuck in the glue, they spend up to five days dying from starvation and dehydration. Veterinary surgeons who have condemned the traps have confirmed that "there is much suffering by the entrapped animals - it is not a sudden or merciful death...Because all mammals have similar nervous systems, they are capable of experiencing the same type of pain and suffering."
In recent months, ICABS has reported numerous shops selling the traps and our efforts have led to their removal from sale in a number of retail outlets. We are now urging the NPWS to prosecute shops which persist in selling the devices.
Two cases involving the unlawful possession of glue traps have already come to court. Responding to a Dail Question from ICABS Vice-President, Tony Gregory, in March 2006, the Environment Minister stated: "My Department has, over the last 18 months, been involved in two court cases involving the unlawful possession of rodent glue traps."
Minister Dick Roche added: "Recently a substantial quantity of mouse glue was seized at Dublin Port and a prosecution is being prepared. My Department is in contact with a major importer and distributor of these traps with a view to arranging the recall and destruction of all such traps."
ICABS is appealing to members of the public to help rid Ireland of one of the world's most cruel and inhumane traps. Spokesperson, Aideen Yourell stated: "We are asking people to visit their local hardware stores, discount shops, pet supply outlets, builder provider stores, etc to help pinpoint where glue traps are being sold. Those who spot the traps for sale are urged to immediately contact us and we will put them in touch with their local NPWS conservation ranger."
In a related development, Minister Roche has assured ICABS that his department will investigate the sale from the Ebay Ireland website of illegal glue traps and gin (leghold) traps and "take any possible action". ICABS appealed directly to Ebay earlier this year to stop facilitating the sale of the traps but they continue to be listed on the site.
Section 42(f) of the Wildlife (Amendment) Act, 2000
"Any person who imports into the State from outside the European Union, or has in his possession other than pursuant to, and in accordance with, a licence granted by the Minister in that behalf, or who in the course of his trade or business sells or offers for sale a trap, snare or net which pursuant to subsection (4) of this section is for the time being declared by the Minister to be a trap, snare or net to which this subsection applies shall be guilty of an offence."
Glue trap cruelty: Quotes
"I walked in on a desperate, terrified mouse glued to the trap, struggling hopelessly for its life. Its legs were going as fast as they possibly could. And the harder it tried to escape, the more stuck it became. Its terror multiplied tenfold when it saw me...I never forgot that experience and I've been bitterly opposed to the sale and manufacture of glue traps ever since." (from an article by George Shea, The Pet Gazette, October 2005)
"A 1983 test that evaluated the effectiveness of glue traps found that trapped mice struggling to free themselves would pull out their own hair, exposing bare, raw areas of skin. The mice broke or even bit off their own legs, and the glue caused their eyes to become badly irritated and scarred. After three to five hours in the glue traps, the mice defecated and urinated heavily because of their severe stress and fear, and quickly became covered with their own excrement. Animals whose faces become stuck in the glue slowly suffocate, and all trapped animals are subject to starvation and dehydration. It takes anywhere from three to five days for the mouse to finally die. This is nothing less than torture." (from the "In Defense of Animals (USA)" website)
"I received a phone call from an upset woman who found a mouse stuck in a glue trap...She handed me the glue trap, with the small, frail mouse's tiny feet and his bony body hopelessly stuck to the ghastly contraption. Some of his foot had been torn off (from struggling to free himself from the glue). One entire side of his face was stuck to the glue board. He was having difficulty breathing. It appeared that this poor mouse had been lingering in agony, stuck to this trap for days and was dehydrated, perhaps dying." (Animals In Print Newsletter)
Glue traps: Dail Q&A
Tony Gregory: To ask the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government the action being taken by the National Parks and Wildlife Service to end the sale of unlawful glue traps from retail outlets here.
Ref No: 9707/06. Written Reply. Answered on 8th March, 2006.
Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government (Mr. Roche): Sale or possession of glue traps, other than in accordance with a licence issued by my Department, is prohibited under the Wildlife Act 1976 (Approved Traps, Snares and Nets) Regulations 2003. No licences are currently in force to permit the sale or possession of such traps.
My Department has, over the last 18 months, been involved in two court cases involving the unlawful possession of rodent glue traps. Recently a substantial quantity of mouse glue was seized at Dublin Port and a prosecution is being prepared. My Department is in contact with a major importer and distributor of these traps with a view to arranging the recall and destruction of all such traps.
Photos: Glue trap packaging
Statement from Minister Dick Roche
Roche acts against illegal glue traps
Mr Dick Roche, T.D., Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government, today (3rd April 2006) expressed his concern at the availability in Ireland of glue traps and tubes of glue normally sold for the trapping of birds and rodents. Glue traps, birdlime, or any substance of a like nature, are prohibited in Ireland.
"I believe that many retailers and members of the public may be unaware that to sell or to possess an unauthorised trap is an offence under Irish law", said the Minister. "My Department is actively pursuing the sale of these illegal traps and glues. Prosecutions have been and will be taken where breaches of the law are detected," he added.
Under the Wildlife Acts the use of certain traps, snares, other hunting devices, birdlime, poison etc, is prohibited except where authorised by the Minister in exceptional circumstances. No such authorisations have been granted by the Minister. It is therefore an offence to import, possess, sell or offer for sale such unauthorised traps.
The National Parks and Wildlife Service of the Department of the Environment, Heritage and Local Government has, over the last 18 months, been involved in two court cases involving the unlawful use of glue traps. Recently a substantial quantity of unapproved glue was seized at Dublin Port and a prosecution is being prepared. Furthermore, the National Parks and Wildlife Service has been in contact with a major importer and distributor of these traps, who has agreed to recall the product.