Animal rights activists blast borough president for ‘inhumane’ rat display

Inhumane: Animal rights activists blasted Eric Adams for his press conference last week, during which he advocated for a rat trap that drowns rodents in an alcoholic solution.
Brooklyn Paper
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Think of the rats!

Animal rights activists slammed Borough President Eric Adams for the gruesome publicity stunt he pulled outside Borough Hall on Thursday, when he displayed about a dozen drowned rats to reporters to promote his new “humane” rat trap.

“Any veterinarian in the world would tell you that drowning is an incredibly inhumane way to kill a mammal,” wrote members of the Brooklyn organization, Voters for Animal Rights, in a letter to Adams. “Cheerleading for the killing of living animals sends a dangerous and destructive message.”

The borough president’s Sept. 5 press conference was intended to demonstrate the success of his new favorite rat trap, which lures rodents with sunflower seeds into a vat of alcohol, intoxicating the vermin and eventually drowning them. But while Adams, himself a vegan, hailed the traps as “humane” because of their rapid rat-killing abilities and the boozy delirium they induce, activists argued that the contraptions cause the rodents undue suffering.

“Rats are intelligent, sentient animals who feel pain, and suffer, just like all other animals,” the activists wrote in the letter, signed by dozens of animal rights and veganism advocates. “Rats live emotionally rich lives, form strong inter-species bonds, have rituals, and mourn family losses.”

Rather than kill the rats, the animal lovers proposed that the city work to improve rat-proof infrastructure, implement sterilization programs, and even teach residents to see the bright side of life with rats and live in harmony with the pesky critters.

“It is unrealistic and impractical, if not absurd, to think New York City’s entire rat population can be eradicated,” the activists wrote. “Just as humans can coexist with squirrels, birds, and other wildlife elsewhere in our city, we can and must strive to tolerate the presence of rats to some degree.”

The advocates are also peeved about being left out of Adams’ rat-catching plan, saying they could have told him to abandon the scheme months ago and saved everybody the trouble — especially the rats!

“The lack of inclusion of the animal advocacy community about your decision, coupled with your office’s dismissive response to our reaction, has been very disappointing and frankly unacceptable. Had you invited us into the planning stages, this conflict could have been avoided,” they wrote.

Adams responded to the angry activists by saying that, while he believes in funding research for alternative traps, the health concerns that the rodents pose require immediate action.

“While we embrace fast-tracking research on alternative rat mitigation measures such as sterilization, human lives - including children and the elderly - are at risk and we need a more effective approach to addressing this exploding infestation,” Adams said.

Reach reporter Rose Adams at or by calling (718) 260–8306. Follow her on Twitter @rose_n_adams
Updated 1:03 pm, September 11, 2019
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Reasonable discourse

K. from ArKady says:
There are these things called cats. Have you heard of them? I can assure you, the local Brooklyn varietal (american shorthair with some turkish van) is an excellent mouser, despite lacking the polydactlyism that I assert is the key to a superior mousing breed. Housing for feral cats is a lot cheaper than this junk, and they're really the only effective means of controlling rodentia.
Sept. 11, 11:30 am
Freesia from Park Slope says:
As a vegan, and a recovering alcoholic, I was disgusted by the man’s actions. This is the respect he has for life, and how he sees alcohol addiction.
Sept. 11, 11:44 am
Local from Here says:
"Joe from Greenpoint" LOL As a supreme loser.....
Sept. 11, 3:04 pm
Not saying one way or another from Ditmas Park says:
How much do these things cost, what companies are benefiting? Did they donate to Eric Adams, if so how much?
Sept. 11, 4:57 pm
Jim from Cobble Hill says:
This just in; Stupid People act Stupid.
Sept. 11, 6:40 pm
Penny from Cobble hill says:
How would people react if he murdered a kitten in front of a crowd? Animal rights now!
Sept. 12, 6:03 am
Cat Man Do from Bushcat says:
Community Cats, NYC's great free resource. "Working Cat" programs in cities like Austin and Chicago and many others use them Perhaps the Borough President is unaware of "Bodega Cats." There's a very good reason why these stores risk Health Dept fines with these cats. They're effective. Seems Adams is clueless when it comes in NYC's own feline resources and the many local stores who take advantage of that potential. Perhaps Adams is ignorant of organizations like The Feral Cat Initiative and Neighborhood Cats. Apparently, Adams doesn't know his own city.
Sept. 12, 9:42 am
Cat from Mandue says:
Look on the bright side of rats..the deader the better.
Sept. 12, 12:27 pm
Deidre from Sheepshead Bay says:
Rats are, indeed, sentient beings and, of course, feel pain when any means of torture is applied. While we no one wishes to co-exist with these creatures and they are known to attack children, hopefully we will find more suitable and human methods of dealing with them. As a matter of fact, we have a little mouse now who got into our apartment and we are reluctant to use these torturous glue traps which ensnare mice as the critters try every means possible to free themselves. The thought of catching one and witnessing its suffering fills me with dread and I just can not proceed with this. There must be a better and more humane way of dealing with the mice/rat problem. I only wish I knew what it was.
Sept. 16, 4:18 am

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