State lawmakers are proposing to ban “inhumane” sticky rodent traps

Snapping a rat’s neck with a spring trap… good. Electrocuting a rodent with a snap trap… OK.

But for two progressive New York City elected officials, these sticky traps, stuck to the point of starvation, are just a cruel and unusual punishment for the Big Apple’s pizza-loving vermin.

State Sen. Jabari Brisport (D-Brooklyn) and Rep. Harvey Epstein (D-Manhattan) are campaigning for their least popular — and fastest-growing — constituency with new legislation aimed at outlawing the sale and use of glue traps as too cruel to ban gullible rats attracted to peanut butter or cheese.

“They just suffer and dehydrate or starve until they die, or bleed until they die,” Brisport told The Post on Wednesday of the bill he introduced with Epstein earlier this week.

“So not only is it ineffective, it’s inhumane,” Brisport added.

As rat populations have surged during the COVID-19 pandemic, New Yorkers have registered at least 30,811 rodent complaints out of 311 year-to-date — more than any other year since the city began compiling such records in 2010, when just 10,500 complaints were filed became.

A picture of New York State Senator Jabari Brisport.

New York State Senator Jabari Brisport supports new legislation banning the sale and use of sticky traps.

An image of various rodent traps in a store.

State Senator Brisport says the rats “suffer and dehydrate, or starve until they die, or bleed until they die.”

Experts told the Post that sticky traps aren’t particularly effective compared to other types of devices aimed at containing the city’s growing rat population, by poisoning them, snapping their necks, or electrocuting them with a very unhealthy shock.

One weakness of sticky traps — which lose their stickiness as dust and other debris accumulates — is how something like a stuck cockroach might alert smart rats to the impending danger, according to an acclaimed 1998 University of Nebraska study published on January 1, 2019 legislator is quoted.

“Not just a few [rodents] are aware of dangerous sticky surfaces, but they are also adept at learning or knowing how to neutralize them,” the study states.

Sticky traps sometimes stick to furry friends like dogs and cats too, while every human within earshot of a fighting rat stays with vivid memories of scratching, yelling and screeching to pass on to friends.

A picture of Harvey Epstein, New York State Senator, at a rally.
Brisport introduced the bill along with Rep. Harvey Epstein.
Gregory P. Mango

“I will never forget the story I heard from a fellow student in college when they had a glue based trap in their apartment and remember being woken up by a squeaking noise and they happily left and saw the trap . There was a rat that got caught on it. And the rat had tried to escape, essentially ripping off its skin and then falling over to the other side and just traveling to the other side with its skin exposed,” Brisport recalled more than a decade later.

Banning the sale of sticky traps would push New Yorkers toward more effective rodent solutions, from better traps to improved sanitation practices that deprive rats and mice of food, particularly the litter Epstein says New Yorkers leave unprotected on the sidewalk .

“There are ways to better seal and insulate walls and use other techniques,” he said.

“Landlords should put their rubbish in containers,” added Democrat Socialist Brisport in a separate interview.

Passing the law when the Legislature reconvenes next year could prove difficult considering most New Yorkers have no sympathy for rats, mice or other vermin.

A picture of a rat carrying a pizza slice in NYC.
Elected officials say banning the sale of sticky traps will encourage New Yorkers to use more effective rodent solutions, from better traps to improved sanitation practices.

If passed by the state Senate and Assembly and signed into law by the governor, the law would give exterminators up to a year after the law went into effect to use up their remaining stocks of sticky traps.

But Epstein said people like Pizza Rat deserve some consideration even in death because they are sentient creatures whose minds and emotions are more like a dog than a mute cockroach.

“I guess you don’t care that they suffer – but we do a lot in society to make sure creatures don’t suffer,” Epstein told The Post, which he will say to two-legged voters curious about the law . State lawmakers are proposing to ban “inhumane” sticky rodent traps


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