SINGAPORE - Several community cats in Redhill have been injured by glue traps recently.
According to Cats of Redhill, a Facebook community page for the community cats in the neighbourhood, as of last Saturday (Jan 12), three cats have been caught in glue traps that were laid near the Hao Mart outlet in Redhill Road.
Two of the cats had to be sent to a veterinarian for treatment, the community page said in a post.
The minimart manager, Mr Chen, who is in his 60s, told Chinese paper Shin Min Daily News that the minimart had started encountering trouble with rats two years ago. This led it to engage a pest control company to help resolve the rats issue.
According to Mr Chen, the pest control company goes down to the minimart outlet every month to get rid of the rats, and glue traps are one of the anti-pest measures.
However, in recent weeks, several cats have gotten caught by these traps.
Several residents of the area have asked him to remove these traps in the cats' interest, Mr Chen added.
The glue traps have helped with the minimart's pest issues, he told Shin Min, and there have been days where up to three rats were caught in the traps.
Rentokil Initial was engaged by Hao Mart to conduct pest control. In response to queries from The Straits Times, a Rentokil spokesman said that the pest control firm placed the glue traps only within the minimart.
The spokesman clarified that the glue board in the bushes where one of the cats was hurt was not placed by Rentokil as it was out of the minimart's "boundary", and suggested that the glue traps could have been "tampered" with.
"We do not put glue traps in bushes as this is simply ineffective, as rain, sunlight and outdoor moisture will quickly render the glue trap useless," the spokesman said.
The Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals' (SPCA) executive director, Dr Jaipal Singh Gill, told ST on Monday that it has received feedback from the public about the matter and is currently investigating the case.
"The SPCA is against the use of glue-board traps as they cause unnecessary suffering to animals trapped on them," Dr Gill said.
"We have written in to the authorities before to ask for a ban on these traps. We strongly encourage the public to not use glue-board traps and retailers to cease the sale of such traps."
In response to queries from ST, the Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority of Singapore (AVA) said that they have received feedback on the matter and are investigating the case.
"Glue traps are common and effective tools used worldwide to trap rodents, whose population needs to be controlled for hygiene and public health reasons," AVA said.
A set of guidelines on responsible use of glue traps were developed by the AVA, in consultation with the pest control industry and the National Environment Agency, to safeguard animal welfare and minimise the trapping of non-target animals.
These guidelines were issued to vector control operators, AVA said.
AVA added that glue traps should not be used in open areas where a non-target animal might be trapped.
"If a glue trap is used in an open area, there must be good justification to do so and an appropriate cover must be used over the glue trap to prevent a non-target animal from being trapped," the authority said.
Non-target animals caught on the trap must be released from the trap unharmed and have the glue removed from its body with cooking or baby oil, and should be sent to a veterinarian for attention if necessary, AVA added.
Members of the public who observe irresponsible use of glue traps can contact AVA directly at 1800-476-1600.