Target and Dollar Tree, two big retailers in the US, have stopped selling glue traps to kill rodents. Target listed the traps on its website as recently as 10th May 2022, but it appears it dropped them after 16th May. Dollar Tree made the decision to stop selling the traps about a year ago but until now still had a residual number of traps in its stores, and the company said it does not plan to replenish them.

These traps, which use a powerful glue to immobilise the animals that walk on them, were introduced in the 1980s. They have been used to capture rodents, birds, snakes, and even squirrels who, struggling to escape, sometimes chew off their limbs before succumbing to dehydration, blood loss, or shock. As they try to escape, the animals caught in these terrible traps can rip patches of skin, fur, or feathers from their bodies. And if they cannot escape, they may be suffering for days before eventually dying from starvation, suffocation, or dehydration. 

The animal rights group PETA has been campaigning against these cruel traps for years. According to PETA, other big US retailers such as CVS, Rite Aid, Duane Reade, and Big Lots, had already stopped selling glue traps. Hundreds of smaller retailers have also dropped them. Moira Colley, a spokesperson for the group, has said, “We continue to push Walmart, Amazon, and others to follow Target’s lead.”  Recently, the UK government announced that it had partially banned glue traps in England. The government of Scotland and Wales have indicated that they are willing to do the same. In 2021, Iceland banned glue traps and bucket traps. New Zealand, Ireland, and the Australian state of Victoria are other examples of territories that have successfully banned rodent glue traps.