Bunnings item 38,000 people want dropped from shelves: 'Severe suffering'

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·Environment Editor
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WARNING - CONFRONTING IMAGES: Pressure is growing on Australian retailers to stop selling glue traps due to their horrifying impact on wildlife

Since Yahoo News Australia first reported on the issue in February, a petition calling on Bunnings to withdraw them from sale has received close to 38,000 signatures.

A screenshot showing the Change.org petition calling for a ban on glue traps.
A petition urging Bunnings to stop selling glue traps has received close to 40,000 signatures. Source: Change.org

"Glue traps cause horrific pain and suffering to any animal that comes in contact with them," the petition warns.

"It can be days before the creature succumbs to death via dehydration and starvation."

Initiated by wildlife advocate Cat Coake, online advocacy group Change.org confirmed her petition is the sixth-biggest that has been started this year on their Australian website.

Change.org Australian director Nic Holas said he hopes big businesses who sell glue traps, like Bunnings and eBay, listen to those calling for the ban.

“We’re proud to support Cat as she uses the Change.org platform to help protect native animals,” he said.

Bunnings responds to glue trap petition on change.org

Bunnings general manager of merchandise Adrian Pearce confirmed he is aware of the petition, but added there are a “range of views” about their sale.

Left - a bat caught in a glue trap with its wing ripped off. Right - a magpie caught in a glue trap.
Insect catching glue traps have to potential to kill or harm wildlife. Source: Salina Giovenco-Ellem / Point Cook Wildlife Care Inc

“We continue to work with our suppliers and the regulatory bodies to ensure we are well-informed on these products,” he said.

“We are working with our suppliers to include additional information on packaging to make it even more clear for customers how to correctly use the products, and we are aiming to roll this out before the end of the year.”

Campaigner inundated with photos showing impact of glue traps on wildlife

Ms Coake told Yahoo News Australia she receives an image showing wildlife caught in glue traps almost every day since she called for evidence of their impact three weeks ago.

A Boobook owl, blue-tongue lizard, baby ringtail possum and a red-bellied black snake are just some of the unfortunate creatures killed or maimed by them.

Two images of a juvenile ringtail possum showing fur loss.
A young ringtail possum lost significant fur after being snagged by a glue trap. Source: Stefanie Taylor

The glue traps responsible look almost identical, so it can be hard to verify which retailer sold them.

While Bunnings do not allow rodent targeting traps to be sold on their site, they continue to sell devices intended to capture insects.

Native animal rescuers maintain all types of glue traps have the ability to harm wildlife, adding bats and birds often fall victim to insect control products.

One heartbreaking image shows a small bat whose wing had been ripped off by an insect glue trap – the source of the product has not been established.

eBay and Amazon respond to glue trap concerns

eBay confirmed that since Yahoo News Australia raised the issue they have made adjustments to their filters to block a more expansive range of glue traps.

Left - Amazon and eBay logos on a phone. Right - a Bunnings employee.
Concerns were raised in February about eBay, Amazon and Bunnings selling glue traps. Source: Getty

Despite this, a quick search of their site reveals there are still numerous listings of both insect and rodent varieties.

Amazon Australia told Yahoo News Australia in February it would work to close a loophole allowing US sellers to export the traps to Australia. It remains unclear as to whether this has occurred.

England announces glue trap ban

RSPCA Australia are opposed to the use of glue traps to control rodents, warning they can cause “severe suffering”.

“The RSPCA is opposed to all glue traps due to the suffering they cause target species, the high risk to non-target species (for example, the risk to birds and bats from glue traps used for insects), and the difficulty in ensuring that non-target species are not impacted," a spokesperson said.

Victoria, Tasmania and the ACT all banning the use of rodent glue traps, but allow insect varieties.

This week England announced it would also be banning public use of rodent glue traps, a move welcomed by Humane Society International who have labelled their use “inhumane, indiscriminate and indefensible”.

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