Not part of the animal justice narrative: A review of rat-borne diseases, new and old, that can impact humans.
I have written several posts on rodent-borne diseases that are hitting the areas around homeless camps in the Southern California area.
And while California has its problems, it must be noted Boston reported a case of rat-caused leptospirosis in a human last year.
Disturbingly, despite the increased need for more effective rodenticides, major American retailers have stopped selling glue traps at the behest of animal rights activists.
Target and Dollar Tree have quietly stopped selling glue traps for rodents, which animal-rights activists have long condemned as unnecessarily cruel, The Post has learned.
The two mega-retailers, which together operate more than 17,000 stores across the US, are following other major retailers in dropping the traps. Those include the CVS, Rite Aid and Duane Reade drugstore chains as well as discount retailer Big Lots, according to People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals.
Hundreds of smaller retailers, including independent stores and mid-size chains, as well as shops at more than 100 airports also have dropped glue traps over the years, according to PETA.
Target and Dollar Tree, which also owns Family Dollar, did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
Dollar Tree made the decision to stop selling the traps about a year ago and may still “have a very small residual number of these [traps] in our stores,” the company told PETA in an email, in which it confirmed that it has “no plans to replenish” the products, according to the animal rights group.
This inanity isn’t confined to the United States. Glue traps have recently been banned in England.
They’ve been used against mice and rats since the 1920s, but glue traps are finally set to be banned in England.
As the name suggests, glue traps are covered in extremely strong glue, causing any mice and rats that walk over them to become stuck.
The Humane Society International (HSI) considers the traps inhumane, since rodents can suffer broken bones, torn skin, suffocation, dehydration, and starvation if caught in them.
A government-backed Private Members Bill received unanimous support for banning glue traps during its final reading in the House of Lords this week.
HSI has hailed the ban – which will come into effect in England two years after receiving Royal Assent – as a ‘momentous victory’ for wildlife.
— ONT WTF (@OntWtf) June 11, 2022
As a reminder, here is a list of public health problems created by rodents.
There are disease concerns with both wild (rats, mice) and pet (rats, mice, hamsters, gerbils, guinea pigs) rodents and rabbits. They can carry many diseases including hantavirus, leptospirosis, lymphocytic choriomeningitis (LCMV), Tularemia and Salmonella.
Wild rodents also may cause considerable property damage by chewing through wiring in homes, car engines, and other places.
I dread the day that I uncover a report about another outbreak or epidemic involving a rat-borne disease. Interestingly, a new coronavirus has been found spreading among rodents in Sweden.
Among Sweden’s red-backed bank voles (Myodes glareolus), researchers have now identified a widespread and common coronavirus they’ve called the Grimsö virus, after the location of its discovery.
We don’t know whether the newly found virus is in any way dangerous to humans; nevertheless, the findings are a good reminder of why we need to monitor wildlife viruses, especially those carried by animals that live in close proximity to us.
“We still do not know what potential threats the Grimsö virus may pose to public health. However, based on our observations and previous coronaviruses identified among bank voles, there is good reason to continue monitoring the coronavirus amongst wild rodents,” says virologist Åke Lundkvist from Uppsala University in Sweden.
I will simply note that there was no mention of rat-borne diseases in the joyful reports about the decision to stop selling glue traps. I guess it isn’t a convenient part of the narrative.
Scolding lectures about keeping the area clean is the response when queries are made about rat control. But what happens when your home abuts a homeless encampment?
Keep a #clean home environment free from rubbish, clutter, remove all old stuff from Yards which would attract them to hide inside! A clean uncluttered space will deter rodents!
— Anna Moore (@annamoor1995) May 28, 2022
Donations tax deductible
to the full extent allowed by law.