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New York considers banning glue traps used to catch mice and rats

A MARTÍNEZ, HOST:

New Yorkers may soon have to find new ways to capture stray pizza rats. State lawmakers there are considering a ban on the sale and use of glue boards.

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

You know those sticky boards you put down, and then pretend to forget about so you don't have to look before your partner or roommate does? Yeah, those. Well, it turns out they're not just bad news for rodents.

JABARI BRISPORT: Aside from the horrific aspects of animal cruelty - being stuck to the glue trap for hours or days on end and starving or dehydrating - these method of capture pose a health and safety risk to human beings.

MARTÍNEZ: That's Senator Jabari Brisport, who sponsored the legislation. And he's not alone in his views.

MARTIN: Yeah, the Centers for Disease Control feels ratty about those traps, too. The CDC uses all caps on their website to warn people about the traps. They advise avoiding them because of the added risk of exposure to diseases and pathogens they bring.

MARTÍNEZ: As for Brisport, he hopes the ban will help build momentum around other ways to control rodent infestations.

BRISPORT: This bill will build on stuff we're already seeing in New York City. New York City very recently is now making big pushes on containerizing trash of businesses and pushing towards more for residential, as well, into proven strategies to mitigate rodents.

MARTIN: So the idea is that the ban may help with your rodent infestation problems and increase the quality of your life.

BRISPORT: By containerizing our trash - and then also, within people's buildings, putting pressure on the landlords to make sure that there aren't any holes in the wall for the mice or the rats to come through - those tactics will do much better at making sure that rats don't infest people's homes.

MARTÍNEZ: Brian Shapiro - the New York director for the Humane Society of the United States - says the ban is not just about public health and safety. It's also about the environment.

BRIAN SHAPIRO: They're not something you just throw in the garbage, and they disappear. A glue trap likely is going to hurt more animals and stay in the environment.

MARTIN: Along with the waste they create, glue boards can harm other animals.

SHAPIRO: Glue boards are readily available. They then get disposed of. And what we've seen, which is alarming - the secondary and ancillary effects of wildlife that suffered - nontarget species.

MARTÍNEZ: Senator Brisport hopes to have the bill voted on before July this year.

MARTIN: And from one rat-filled city to another, let us know how this goes, please.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "RAT IN MI KITCHEN")

UB40: (Singing) Oh, yeah. Yeah. There's a rat in mi kitchen. What am I going to do? There's a rat in mi kitchen. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

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