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RSPCA calls to end use of glue traps as second tawny owl found stuck within a week

Second tawny owl rescued from glue trap within a week. Photo: RSPCA

The RSPCA is urging people not to use glue traps after two tawny owls are caught in the devices within a week.

The second, saved in St Columb, Cornwall after being found with glue covering most of its wings and tail. The first was discovered in Clapton In Gordano, North Somerset. Both were taken to West Hatch Wildlife Centre where they were washed and helped to recover before they'll be let back into the wild.

Tawny owl found in glue trap in Clapton in Gordano. Credit: RSPCA

It is legal to use glue traps to catch rats and mice, their limbs get stuck to the glue as they run across them. But the animal charity is asking people to stop using them as they inadvertently catch other animals.

We’re opposed to the manufacture, sale and use of all glue traps because they cause unacceptable suffering and are totally indiscriminate in what they catch, ensnaring wild animals like birds and even pets.

Once the poor animal is stuck, they begin to struggle to free themselves, and in doing so, more and more parts of their body become trapped in the glue. In their increasing panic and desperation to escape, rats and mice have been found to tear patches of their fur out, break bones, and even gnaw their own limbs off in a bid to be free.

Many animals die within the first 24 hours from starvation, dehydration, exhaustion, or even suffocation – caused by the glue blocking their nasal passages.

– Llewelyn Lowen, RSPCA scientific information officer