Kitten Rescued From Cruel ‘Glue Trap’

An RSPCA Inspector has decided to foster a little kitten who had become stuck on a glue trap at a farm in Norfolk. 

The tiny ginger kitten, who has been called ‘Rodney’, was found stuck on a glue trap at a farm in Norfolk. The farmer who found the kitten ended up being able to free it from the sticky trap. 

He then contacted the RPSCA who sent an Inspector round to assess the condition of the kitten. 

Once the kitten had been given the once-over, Inspector Emily Astillberry took him to Companion Care Longwater branch in Norwich. 

Veterinary staff then started the long and complicated process of removing all of the glue from his fur. 

Emily said:

‘This poor boy was most likely a feral cat and only about five weeks old so really too young to be without his mum. He was thin and lethargic and clearly distressed by what had happened to him.

‘The staff at the vets were amazing and spent all day gently washing and shaving away his glued fur. He had been stuck on the trap on his left-hand side, and his left ear and tail had taken the brunt of the sticky damage.

‘We named him Rodney, and I’m currently caring for him with my family. He’s such a lovely boy and has certainly bounced back now, following his ordeal.

‘Glue traps are extremely cruel and cause unnecessary suffering to animals caught in them, whether they are the target species, like rats or mice, or a beloved pet or wild animal. Animals caught in glue traps, in attempting to get free, may rip out patches of fur or feathers, break bones and even gnaw through their own limbs to escape, which is just awful. 

‘Luckily Rodney didn’t have any lasting injuries – but had he not been found he could have suffered a very long and painful death’.

Rodney will remain with Emily and her family until he is old enough to be rehomed by the RSPCA.

There were 243 glue trap incidents reported to the RSPCA’s cruelty line in the last five years (2015-2019) involving animals including cats, garden birds, hedgehogs, squirrels and even a parrot.

Glue traps, also known as ‘glue boards’ or ‘sticky boards’, consist of a sheet of plastic, cardboard or wood coated with a non-drying adhesive designed to trap rodents such as mice and rats as they cross the board. 

The RSPCA opposes the manufacture, sale and use of glue-traps because of the unnecessary suffering they cause to animals. 

They are also wholly indiscriminate in which animals they trap, so they pose a danger not only to the rodents they are intended to catch but to pets and other wildlife too.

In the last five years, the RSPCA received 243 reports involving glue traps, and less than 27% of animals involved in these incidents were rodents. A whopping 73% of incidents involved pets and wildlife.

Emma Horton, the RSPCA’s scientific officer, said:

‘The harsh reality is that if trapped animals are left unattended, they will die slowly from dehydration, starvation or exhaustion. 

‘Unfortunately, despite all of this, the use of glue traps is not illegal, and there is currently no prospect for legislation to ban them. 

‘However, the RSPCA urges people never to use glue traps, and to opt for humane deterrence of rats and mice, which is often the only long-term solution for rodent control. 

‘Essential measures include limiting food availability, rodent-proof food containers and bins, decluttering, keeping storage areas tidy and blocking access holes using sealant or mouse mesh’.

The figures from the last five years show that the RSPCA received 13 reports in which cats had become stuck to a glue trap and seven incidents involving exotic pet snakes, as well as other cases involving dogs, pigeons, owls, ferrets and even a parrot. 

Victims of these traps have suffered horrendous injuries, many of which have been fatal. 

Emma added:

‘Despite a code of practice which states that the distributors of these traps should not supply them to people who are not properly trained to use them, this is having little effect as these traps are still openly available to the public through hardware stores, garden centres and other retailers. 

‘The instructions accompanying the traps are often inadequate or poorly written too’.

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