Sticky Loses Most of Her Fur after She Is Ensnared in a Glue Trap Inhumanely Set in a Birmingham Garden
"This kitten has suffered as a result of the irresponsible and inhumane use of traps. Like snares and most pest control equipment, glue traps are indiscriminate. We are regularly alerted to incidents of non-target species being caught in snares and traps."
-- Boris Lasserre of the RSPCA
As if cats and their owners did not have enough things to worry about already, the indiscriminate use of glue traps in outdoor settings has emerged as a new menace. That was the frightening and excruciating lesson driven home to a twelve-week-old kitten named Sticky in Birmingham last month.
Ensnared in a glue trap set for mice in a garden on Nansen Road in the Sparkhill section of the city, Sticky's paws, legs, and sides were left coated with glue and assorted debris. (See photo above.)
Rushed to Manor Veterinary Center in Halesowen, the fur on her right side and possibly elsewhere was removed and she was fitted with an Elizabethan collar. (See photo below.)
Even that extreme measure proved to be insufficient in order to remove all the glue from her legs and paws. At last report she was still receiving regular baths at RSPCA Coventry in Allesley in an effort to get rid of the remainder of the glue.
"This kitten has suffered as a result of the irresponsible and inhumane use of traps," the RSPCA's Boris Lasserre told the Daily Mail on August 3rd. (See "Meet Sticky, the Kitten Who Was Saved from a Rat-Catching Glue Trap.") "Like snares and most pest control equipment, glue traps are indiscriminate. We are regularly alerted to incidents of non-target species being caught in snares and traps."
Inexpensively constructed out of either plastic or cardboard and coated with some type of adhesive, glue traps normally are deployed indoors because prolonged exposure to the elements renders them ineffective. Nevertheless, they must be somewhat effective in outdoor environments, at least in fair weather, otherwise they would not be used in gardens.
To its credit, the RSPCA was able to track down the unidentified offender and convince that person to remove the remaining traps from the garden. That is not sufficient, however, in that the RSPCA needs to remain vigilant so as to make doubly sure that the culprit does not set out additional glue traps at a later date.
Since the traps are legal in Angleterre, no charges have been filed in this case. If the setting had been in Ireland, however, it would have been an entirely different story since these devices are banned there under the Wildlife Act of 2000.
Glue traps not only inflict horrific suffering on cats and wildlife but they are additionally an inhumane way of controlling the rodent population. Once stuck in the glue, mice often die prolonged deaths from exposure to the elements, dehydration, starvation, suffocation, predation, and agitation. (See photo above.)
For that reason the RSPCA's main office in Horsham, West Sussex, is categorically opposed to their use. "The RSPCA is opposed to the manufacture, sale, and use of any trap that causes suffering. We are concerned about the use of glue traps against rodents because of the suffering they cause," the organization declares on its web site.
In addition to glue traps, leghold traps used to capture wildlife continue to take a heavy toll on cats. (See Cat Defender posts of September 4, 2007, December 24, 2005, and August 18, 2005 entitled, respectively, "Kitten Named Moppel Is Rescued Unharmed from a Leghold Trap in Sachsen but a Cat in Decatur Is Not Nearly So Fortunate," "A Cat Named Trapper Falls Victim to Another Rusty Leghold Trap in British Columbia," and "Brave Orange Tabby Cat Named Hopalong Cassidy Loses Limb to Leghold Trap in British Columbia.")
Since no one so far has come forward to reclaim her, Sticky will be put up for adoption as soon as she recovers from her ordeal. From the way things now look, however, she has many more weeks of suffering and recuperation ahead of her before she will be able to leave the RSPCA's shelter.
Photos: Daily Mail and Newsteam (Sticky) and David Shankbone of Wikipedia (mouse caught in a glue trap.)