New Yorkers would be up in arms if rabbits, birds or any other wild animals were the ones being dumped into tubs of chemicals and left to drown. We should be no less appalled by the inhumanness of experimental alcohol traps when rats are the victims — especially when inventing novel ways to torment them has never produced long-term results.

Rats are merely trying to survive the harsh winter. And keeping them out of our homes always comes back to the same time-tested solutions: eliminating food sources and sealing off entry points. Otherwise, more animals will simply move in to replace those we kill. If we insist on drawing rats in with the warmth and food offered by dining sheds, the least we can do is use humane live traps to frighten them into moving along. No one blamed Jean Valjean for trying to feed his family. There’s a reason Javert was the villain.

Jen O’Connor

Norfolk, Virginia

O’Connor is a senior editor for The PETA Foundation

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