June 27, 2005

Mice escape cruel ending
Tanya Giles

PEOPLE who use glue traps to kill mice and rats will be hit with fines of up to $1000 under a crackdown on animal cruelty.

The State Government is set to be the first state to outlaw the traps because of the injury, suffering and distress they cause rodents and other small animals.

Glue traps are available from supermarkets and hardware stores, and catch small animals when their feet become stuck as they walk or run across the sticky boards.

Professional trappers kill more than 250,000 rodents in Australia each year using glue traps.

A regulatory impact statement released this week has said the animals not only suffer extreme stress when stuck, but also prolonged deaths from dehydration, exposure, starvation, suffocation or attack by predators.

Animals also die from injuries or blood loss when they try to chew through their own limbs in an attempt to escape.

Agriculture Minister Bob Cameron has invited public comment on the proposed regulations until August 26.

The RSPCA and Animals Australia say they would support the bans.

The Australian Environmental Pest Managers Association said they opposed a ban because the benefits of the traps to society in rodent control outweighed animal welfare issues.