Our plea as two robins die after being stuck on a glue trap

Our plea as two robins die after being stuck on a glue trap

We are urging people never to buy or use glue traps after two robins sadly died after getting stuck to one.

glue trap robinA member of the public kindly rushed the distressed birds to RSPCA North Wiltshire Oak and Furrows Wildlife Rescue Centre on Wednesday 17 March after they were discovered in Lydiard Millicent in Swindon.

Anj Saunders from the specialist wildlife rescue and rehabilitation facility, near Cricklade, said:

We managed to get them off the trap using coconut oil and butter, and tried our best to get the sticky glue off the feathers. We'd really hoped they'd survive but sadly they both died as a result of what they'd suffered.

Glue traps cause unacceptable suffering

We are opposed to the manufacture, sale and use of all glue traps because they cause unacceptable suffering to both the target species and other non-target species which fall victim to them.

glue trapGlue traps - also known as 'glue boards' or 'sticky boards' - consist of a sheet of cardboard, plastic or wood coated with non-drying adhesive. Unfortunately, it is legal to use them to catch rats and mice.

It is an offence under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 to intentionally catch, kill or injure wild birds using glue traps, so anyone using these traps should take precautions to prevent causing death or injury to any non-target animals as these traps are indiscriminate.

Anj added:

These are hideous traps and cause horrendous suffering to animals who become caught on them. They usually die slow and painful deaths. That's why we'd urge people not to use these horrible traps and, instead, to please investigate humane methods of deterring rodents to avoid any animal suffering the way these robins did.

How to deter rodents humanely

  • Remove food sources and ensure bins and containers are rodent-proof
  • Plant repellents such as wood hyacinth, allium and daffodils can help keep rodents at bay
  • De-clutter and keep storage areas tidy

We're currently running a "Wild Animals and Glue Traps" project; we feel that if these traps have to be used, they should only be used by trained professionals. As part of this project, we're asking anyone who sees glue traps on sale to the general public to contact us at wildlife@rspca.org.uk 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.

We'll 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-stock them in the future - to prevent the problem recurring. The project has been very successful and many stockists have taken these traps off their shelves. Find our more information on our "Wild Animals and Glue Traps" project.

To report a live animal caught in a glue trap, contact our cruelty line on 0300 1234 999.