Glue traps that cause “immense suffering” to their animal victims look set to be banned this year.
Rodents caught in the traps have been known to chew off their own limbs to escape.
And larger animals are at risk too – cat Miles pictured above had to be put down after getting stuck to a set of the boards.
RSPCA inspector Nicole Broster said: “This is the worst glue trap incident I’ve ever dealt with. This cat was in extreme pain from horrific injuries.”
Miles’s legs and tail were stuck to four traps in Cricklewood, North London, causing a deadly infection to set in.
Do you think they should be banned? Have your say in comments below
The RSPCA’s David Bowles said of the traps: “Animals including robins, owls and even kittens get caught in them. Their use is unacceptable.”
Junior environment minister Rebecca Pow said: “Glue traps can cause immense suffering to rodents and other animals that inadvertently fall victim.”
Campaigning group the Conservative Animal Welfare Foundation, whose patrons include PM’s wife Carrie Johnson and Environment minister Zac Goldsmith, is also demanding a ban on sales.
A six-pack of the traps – plastic boards coated in strong adhesive – costs around £12 at outlets such as garden centres. Bait is put in the centre and rats and mice usually die of starvation or thirst after getting stuck.
Birds swooping on the trapped rodents are also at risk.
Welfare charity People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals said: “Glue traps are indiscriminate killers.” They are illegal in Ireland and New Zealand.
A Government Action Plan for Animal Welfare, launched last month, says it will support legislation to restrict their use.
Lord Goldsmith confirmed: “It is an issue we are looking at very closely.” A sales ban under animal welfare legislation is likely to come later this year.
Professional pest controllers may still be allowed to set the traps in certain circumstances.
Trap users can already be prosecuted under a 2006 law.
They must inspect the traps every 12 hours and humanely kill any animal caught.