One of Dorset's tawny owls is the latest victim of a 'lethal' glue trap which was meant to solve a resident's rat problem.
The owl became trapped in the device, which was bought off the internet, after a woman from Wareham planted it to get rid of rats.
The woman was distraught to find the owl and called the animal charity, the RSPCA, for help.
An officer drove the owl to the West Hatch wildlife centre for treatment, but due to the extensive damage he had suffered, vets felt the most humane option was to put him to sleep.
The traps, also called 'glue boards' or 'sticky boards' are however legal.
They're made of either a sheet of plastic, cardboard or wood coated with non-drying adhesive.
The RSPCA says that according to industry codes of practice, only trained operators should use them, so retailers should not be selling them to the general public.
The charity is now urging the public to report sellers of these 'inhumane and indiscriminate' traps which can kill or severely injure small animals.
- Never try to free an animal from a trap as there is a risk of injury to both the person and the animal
- Instead, stay back to avoid stressing the animal
- Call the RSPCA's emergency line on 0300 1234 999
Report sellers of glue traps
- Contact firstname.lastname@example.org and include:
- Name and address of the store where the traps are being sold
- The manager or owner of the store concerned
- The date the traps were seen on sale