Rat traps injuring pets and wildlife!
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The newer, heavy-duty snap traps, the black plastic rat traps - the ones with interlocking teeth, are very effective in doing what they are intended to - killing rats.
But, when placed outdoors, uncovered, these traps pose a serious threat to other animals - birds, opossums, raccoons, skunks, fox, dogs and cats - even deer.
These traps are not meant to be placed outdoors where other animals can reach them, but the package labeling and directions are not clear enough.
The number of incidents involving non-target animals being caught and maimed in these types of traps has increased in the last few years. See news coverage, HERE.
Just in the first week of August 2017, rescuers on the Central Coast of California responded to four separate emergencies involving skunks caught in rat traps. Critter Care Wildlife Center reported getting five or six a week in July.
It is time to demand better warning labels on these products!
Join us in asking Bell Laboratories and The Scotts Miracle-Gro Company, leading manufacturers of these types of rat traps, to add warning labels and precautionary statements to product packaging, instructions on use and promotional material, including videos, and require distributors to also display warnings on outdoor use where these products are sold - in stores and online.
On September 16, 2014, in response to an increasing number of animals injured or killed in these types of traps, Wildlife Emergency Services contacted the original manufacturer, Bell Laboratories, asking them to consider adding warning labels to help reduce the number of non-target wildlife injuries. They responded by saying they would look into it.
That same year, Scotts Miracle-Gro acquired Tomcat, the consumer brand of rodent traps manufactured by Bell Laboratories.
As time went on, more and more animals were being found caught in these spring-loaded traps, including wild birds, like this white crowned sparrow that suffered two broken legs in a trap.
Even large animals are at risk. In 2015, a deer was found with one of these traps on its muzzle, preventing it from eating.
In March 2016, Wildlife Emergency Services reached out to Bell Laboratories again, and Scotts Miracle-Gro Company, asking them to add a distinct warning label to retail packaging and include safety precautions specific to wildlife, pets and children in marketing sell sheets, wherever instructions for consumers are advertised, and in training material for industry professionals.
See the sample labeling WES suggested, HERE.
Bell Laboratories made small changes to their products' web page and sell sheet, clarifying non-target exposure and how it can be prevented. See the changes, HERE. We hope they will do more.
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