TOMCAT’s ‘Dead Mouse Theater’ Commercials Come Under Fire

Mousetrap Ads Mock Real Animals' Deaths, Sending a Dangerous Message to Children

For Immediate Release:
November 17, 2016

Sophia Charchuk 202-483-7382

Madison, Wis. – In the “Dead Mouse Theater” television commercials for Motomco’s TOMCAT-brand mousetraps, fake dead mice are blown out of a car exhaust pipe, explode in midair, and are impaled by a cactus spine, among other cartoon-like skits—and in a letter sent to the Madison-based company, PETA calls for the ads to be pulled, noting that glorifying and mocking an animal’s death is upsetting to those who care about animal suffering and also sends a dangerous message to young people.

“No child should be taught to chuckle over an animal’s death,” says PETA Director of Corporate Affairs Anne Brainard. “If we want to build a more compassionate, understanding, and respectful world, we need to teach children empathy for all living beings, which is exactly why PETA is calling for an end to these grotesque ads.”

According to leading mental-health professionals and law-enforcement agencies, many violent offenders, including serial killers, start by harming animals before moving on to human victims.

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to abuse in any way”—notes that lethal mousetraps fail to address the source of the problem because more mice simply move in to take the place of those who have been killed. Effective mouse control focuses on eliminating food sources, sealing points of entry, and removing any remaining animals with humane live traps.

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 Ingrid E. Newkirk

“Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: Why should animals have rights?” READ MORE

— Ingrid E. Newkirk, PETA President and co-author of Animalkind