"America's Friendliest Airport" just got a lot friendlier to mice.
The Phoenix Aviation Department is getting rid of glue traps in lieu of "a more humane trap," Greg Roybal, a spokesperson for the department, told Phoenix New Times. He declined to specify what kind of trap it would be, however.
The change comes after members of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) met with the Aviation Department and asked them to get rid of glue traps.
The three airports under the department's control — Phoenix's Sky Harbor International Airport, Deer Valley, and Goodyear — will all discontinue the use of glue traps, which have a reputation for being one of the more inhumane ways to trap and kill mice and other pests.
A graphic press release from PETA describes the suffering animals go through once getting caught in the traps in stark terms: "After becoming trapped, panicked animals struggle to escape — often breaking their bones and tearing off their flesh, fur, or feathers in the process. Some animals chew off their own limbs to try to free themselves, and others get their noses, mouths, or beaks stuck in the glue. The more the animals struggle, the more they stick to the traps, only to die from exhaustion, injury, shock, dehydration, asphyxiation, or blood loss."
Aviation Department officials intend to replace glue traps with traps that are "mostly located in plumbing walls that are out of view" by the end of January, Roybal said.
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Asked what sort of pest-control measures PETA would like to see airports use in place of glue traps, Sara Britt, corporate responsibility officer for PETA, said they encouraged the Aviation Department to "use effective, long-term measures — including prevention and nonlethal measures, such as sealing gaps and holes and keeping food and trash contained — to keep wildlife outside."
Rat traps are an occasional source of controversy in other cities. Last fall, Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams enraged animal rights activists when he called a press conference at Brooklyn Borough Hall and unveiled a novel rat-trapping device that lures rats into a bucket filled with an alcohol solution. In a scene made famous in a viral video, a man opened the rat-trapping bucket and began scooping the dead rats out with a ladle while reporters groaned in disgust. When activists complained, Adams hit back by saying he would "never put rats over children" when it comes to African-American communities being plagued by the pests.
As a thank you for banning glue traps, PETA said it was sending the Phoenix Aviation Department "a box of delicious, mouse-shaped vegan chocolates."