Stop the Cruel Drowning of Wild Rats in Alcohol

Stop the Cruel Drowning of Wild Rats in Alcohol

We’re outraged and deeply dismayed by New York City’s new so-called “humane” plan to drown terrified wild rats in alcohol as they suffer and flail about while surrounded by the bodies of their dead friends and families. This extremely barbaric, short-sighted and ineffective plan ignores expert advice to focus on exclusion and contraceptives. This cruel massacre must be stopped!

Earlier this month, Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams introduced a new, heartless method to attempt to decrease rat populations: Ekomille rat traps. These horrific 2-foot-tall traps lure in unsuspecting rats with bait and then drop them into a tank of alcohol-based solution where they futilely struggle and drown to death surrounded by the bodies of previous victims. Can you imagine dying this way? Would you wish this death on anyone?

New York City media outlet, Gothamist, shared disturbing video of a presentation where one of the traps was opened which allowed for the bodies of the bloated dead rat victims to be seen floating in a murky solution dubbed “rat soup torture.” The video shows these poor rats being ladled into trash bags while onlookers react - some with horror and others with insensitive jokes.

Famed rodentologist Bobby Corrigan says this of Ekomille traps: “Any veterinarian in the world would tell you that drowning is an incredibly inhumane way to kill a mammal, I have no idea how that’s considered humane.”

Not only are these traps unnecessary and brutal, but new research also suggests that killing rats is not an effective strategy for population management. Toxic chemicals, poisons, and even traps are not effective. The most obvious and simple solution is to dispose of and contain our trash properly, which New York City has repeatedly failed to do in any comprehensive fashion. Why should millions of animals suffer because we can’t or won’t clean up after ourselves?

According to Corrigan, the most significant reason for the uptick in the rat population is that New York’s human population has ballooned in the last decade, while its waste disposal system stays mired in the past. 

For truly humane and long-term rat population control, he recommends birth control and exclusion. Exclusion techniques include the proper removal of food sources and waste, blockage of possible entry points into buildings, and methods to repel and deter rats. Corrigan asserts that, “Just putting out some kind of trap is not going to touch Brooklyn’s rat population. If you’re not willing to revamp your refuse management program, you don’t have a chance.”

What YOU Can Do:

Rats are intelligent, altruistic, and affectionate beings who do not deserve to drown in alcohol surrounded by the bloated corpses of friends and family.

Please urge Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio to abandon the cruel Ekomille rat-trap, and to expand their successful rodent exclusion program and use of rodent contraceptives.

1. Call New York City officials to express your outrage over their cruel decision to use the Ekomille rat-trap.

For New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, call (212) 639-9675, follow the prompts, tell the computer you’re calling about “comments to the mayor,” then you will be connected to a live 311 agent.

For Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams, (718) 802-3700, ask the operator to transfer you to Eric Adam’s office.

When you get a live person, request for the city to abandon its plan to use the cruel Ekomille rat-trap in favor of exclusion practices and rat contraceptives.

2. Comment on these city official’s social media pages.

Contact the Mayor of New York City Bill de Blasio on Twitter and Facebook.

Contact Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams on Twitter and Facebook as well.

You can say, “Please cancel your plans to use the incredibly cruel and ineffective Ekomille device to trap and drown rats in an alcohol solution. Experts recommend a combination of rat contraceptives and exclusion techniques, which are non-toxic and non-lethal.”

3. Never deal with unwanted animals inhumanely. Check out these amazingly thorough and helpful tips for dealing with practically every kind of unwanted visitor:

4. Send our letter to Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams.

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