WO2016055804A1 - Animal-trapping device - Google Patents

Animal-trapping device Download PDF

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Publication number
WO2016055804A1
WO2016055804A1 PCT/GB2015/052965 GB2015052965W WO2016055804A1 WO 2016055804 A1 WO2016055804 A1 WO 2016055804A1 GB 2015052965 W GB2015052965 W GB 2015052965W WO 2016055804 A1 WO2016055804 A1 WO 2016055804A1
Authority
WO
WIPO (PCT)
Prior art keywords
animal
receptacle
trapping device
door
air
Prior art date
Application number
PCT/GB2015/052965
Other languages
French (fr)
Inventor
James Steele
Original Assignee
Ratagon Limited
Priority date (The priority date is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the date listed.)
Filing date
Publication date
Priority to GB1417883.4 priority Critical
Priority to GBGB1417883.4A priority patent/GB201417883D0/en
Application filed by Ratagon Limited filed Critical Ratagon Limited
Publication of WO2016055804A1 publication Critical patent/WO2016055804A1/en

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Classifications

    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A01AGRICULTURE; FORESTRY; ANIMAL HUSBANDRY; HUNTING; TRAPPING; FISHING
    • A01MCATCHING, TRAPPING OR SCARING OF ANIMALS; APPARATUS FOR THE DESTRUCTION OF NOXIOUS ANIMALS OR NOXIOUS PLANTS
    • A01M23/00Traps for animals
    • A01M23/16Box traps
    • A01M23/18Box traps with pivoted closure flaps
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A01AGRICULTURE; FORESTRY; ANIMAL HUSBANDRY; HUNTING; TRAPPING; FISHING
    • A01MCATCHING, TRAPPING OR SCARING OF ANIMALS; APPARATUS FOR THE DESTRUCTION OF NOXIOUS ANIMALS OR NOXIOUS PLANTS
    • A01M19/00Apparatus for the destruction of noxious animals, other than insects, by hot water, steam, hot air, or electricity

Abstract

An animal-trapping device has a receptacle (201) which is capable of trapping the animal and thereafter having the air inside the receptacle removed via a valve (210) thereby killing the animal. The receptacle may comprise a one-way mirror (213) through which the animal is capable of viewing when the animal is within the receptacle and which is capable of fooling the animal into thereby thinking that the animal is entering a tunnel. A person is capable of viewing a trapped animal through a window (206). A soft-sealing door (202) allows for a long tail on an animal to be caught in the door without affecting the hermetic seal. A double-position closing mechanism (225) has a first locked-but- unsealed position in which the animal cannot escape, but which allows air to enter through a gap in the door to provide the animal with breathable air and a second position in which the door is locked and sealed.

Description

ANIMAL-TRAPPING DEVICE
FIELD OF THE INVENTION
The present invention relates to an animal-trapping device. More particularly, the present invention relates to an animal-trapping device wherein there is a receptacle which is capable of trapping the animal and thereafter having the air inside the receptacle removed thereby killing the animal. The present invention is suitable for trapping and killing vermin such as rats. The animal- trapping device may therefore be a rat-trapping device.
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
Although there are many known methods and apparatus for trapping rats and other types of animals, many of these previous prior art devices do not kill the rat or animal in a humane manner. This thereby causes suffering to the animal when it is trapped prior to death and also during death.
World-wide around £45 billion is spent annually on rat poisons or as they are commonly now known - second generation anticoagulants. They are cumulative and slow acting and rats poisoned by them may show signs including weakness, lameness, and breathing difficulties, for up to about 48 hours prior to death. Bleeding into joint spaces and inside the skull is known to be very painful in humans and there is a concern that anticoagulants may cause this in rodents. In addition to this specific metabolic disruption, anticoagulants cause damage to tiny blood vessels (capillaries), increasing their permeability, causing gradual diffuse internal bleedings that develop over several days. In the final phase of the intoxication, the exhausted rodent collapses in hypovolemic circulatory shock or severe anaemia accompanied by discomfort and pain and then and dies.
US20101 15826 discloses a pest control device which includes a container having at least one open end and a closed end, a sealing means adapted to substantially close an open end of the container, a closing means associated with the sealing means and adapted to substantially close the open end when activated to retain a vacuum and trap a pest within the container, and an evacuation means to evacuate the container of sufficient oxygen to cause death to the trapped pest. Also provided is a novel sensor device for sensing the presence of a pest and activating the pest control device. In the preferred embodiment the evacuation means has a vacuum or low pressure state of between -20 kPa to -95 kPa (datum as -100 kPa a full vacuum) to ensure a quick death of the trapped pest.
A problem is that a target animal, such as a rat, is reluctant to enter such devices. It is a problem that such devices do not keep trapped animals alive or provide a way to discriminate between target and other animals to allow the latter to be selectively released. Another problem is that an animal's tail can be caught in the door of such devices, which may be painful or may interfere with humane killing by proper air evacuation.
It is an object of at least one aspect of the present invention to obviate or mitigate at least one or more of the aforementioned problems.
It is a further object of at least one aspect of the present invention to provide an animal-trapping device which provides an improved method for trapping the animal and also a more humane method for killing the animal via removal of its breathable air.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
According to a first aspect of the present invention there is provided an animal-trapping device comprising: a receptacle capable of holding an animal;
a first sealable opening through which an animal is capable of entering the receptacle; and
a device for removing air from inside the receptacle once an animal is trapped inside the receptacle,
wherein the animal is killed by removing the air from the receptacle.
Preferably, the receptacle is capable of holding and trapping the animal.
A portion of the receptacle may comprise a one-way mirror through which the animal is capable of seeing or viewing through, for example when the animal is within the receptacle, and which is capable of fooling the animal into thereby thinking or believing that the animal is entering a tunnel.
The animal-trapping device may further comprise a second sealable opening through which a person is capable of viewing the trapped animal.
The first sealable opening may be in the form of a door and the animal- trapping device may comprise a double-position closing mechanism having a first locked-but-unsealed position in which the animal cannot escape from the receptacle, but which allows air to enter the receptacle through a gap in the door to provide the animal with breathable air and having a second position in which the door is locked and sealed.
The receptacle may be any suitable type of carcass in the form of a sealable chamber. The receptacle may be manufactured from any suitable material such as recycled plastics or any other suitable type of metal/alloy.
The receptacle may any suitable shape such as square/oblong externally or alternatively may be tubular in shape.
Typically, the inside surface of the receptacle where the animal is trapped may have internal dimensions which may be tunnel-like and preferably curved with internal corners that help to provide side-wall strength and also an environment preferential to rats.
The receptacle may be hermetically sealed thereby forming an air-tight seal. This may be achieved by the first sealable opening being an automatically closing door. The closing door or receptacle may comprise soft-close edges such that the closing door will close the first sealable opening and seal it at the same time but allowing for a long tail on an animal to be caught in the door without affecting the hermetic seal.
The door in the first sealable opening may comprise a hinge mechanism which may be operated mechanically and/or electrically. The hinge
mechanism may be activated once an animal enters the receptacle and is detected via any sensing mechanism.
Once an animal is detected in the receptacle, then the release mechanism will snap the first sealable opening closed using any form of device such as a spring-loaded and/or electrical device. The sealable opening may then be secured shut using, for example, a magnetic lock or a double-position closing mechanism.
The sensor and any other electrical components in the animal-trapping device may be either connected to the mains supply or may be powered by a battery such as a rechargeable battery or standard batteries e.g. AA batteries.
Magnets which may be used to close the first sealable opening may be built into the receptacle or into the hinged door. The magnets may be strong enough to hold the door closed to prevent any animal escaping but not strong enough to prevent the operative from opening the door.
The receptacle may also comprise a second sealable opening through which a person is capable of viewing the trapped animal. The second sealable opening may be in the form of a clear viewing window, made for example of plastic, which may have an opaque cover. The function of the second sealable opening is that a trapped animal cannot see out but that a user is capable of moving (such as by sliding) a top cover aside to see if an animal has been trapped. In the event that the animal that has been trapped is not a target animal, such as a rat or a grey squirrel, and is instead cat or a red squirrel or such, then the animal can be released.
The animal-trapping device may also comprise a solenoid which may be built into the carcass of the receptacle. The solenoid may be controlled by an on- off switch from the outside of the animal-trapping device.
The device for removing air may be in any suitable form but in particular embodiments may be an air valve, such as a one-way (i.e. non-return) air valve or a two-way air valve. The air valve may be used for gradually removing air from the inside of the receptacle. The receptacle therefore forms an air-tight seal thereby allowing the receptacle to become hermetically sealed on removal of the air. The gradual removing of the air allows the animal to have a slow but ensured loss of consciousness. Continual and gradual removal of the air (decompression/gradual hypoxia) in the sealed chamber allows the animal to die painlessly and without stress. The method of death proposed by the present application therefore provides a much more humane approach than currently used methods.
The animal-trapping device also comprises an electric sensor which is capable of being activated once an animal enters the chamber. When activated, the sensor sends a signal to the solenoid which in turn is deactivated. This allows the hinge action electric mechanism in the first sealable opening to operate thereby closing the first sealable opening. From a sensor detecting the presence of an animal the door is closed in a fraction of a second.
The animal-trapping device may also comprise an antenna such as a wire loop antenna which is capable of sending an electrical message in the form of a very low frequency underground message and above ground using radio communication, such as GPRS (i.e. General Packet Radio System) or Wi-Fi, to an operator advising the device number and confirming that an animal has been trapped. This antenna will work in tunnels and sewers underground, in attics, roof-spaces and in food barns. The animal-trapping device may therefore be located in any location where an animal may be found and may notify a remote user that an animal has been trapped.
The animal-trapping device may also comprise a carry-handle allowing the animal to be carried and removed.
The on-off switch may be located on the side of the animal-trapping device and may be used for switching on and off the device as necessary for a user to help clean the trap and remove the smell of death and replenish the food and the bait station.
The method for removing the air from the receptacle may use any suitable pump mechanism such as a hand-operated vacuum pump.
The animal-trapping device may further comprise a magnet inside the receptacle arranged to be moveable by a trapped animal and to cooperate with a detector outside the receptacle to activate a communication device.
According to a second aspect of the present invention, there is provided an animal-trapping device comprising:
a receptacle capable of holding an animal;
a first sealable opening through which an animal is capable of entering the receptacle; and
a device for removing air from inside the receptacle once an animal is trapped inside the receptacle,
wherein the animal is killed by removing air from the receptacle and wherein receptacle is hermetically sealable thereby forming an air-tight seal and the first sealable opening comprises an automatically closing door and the closing door or receptacle comprises soft-close edges such that the closing door will close the first sealable opening and seal it at the same time but allowing for a long tail on an animal to be caught in the closing door without affecting the hermetic seal.
According to a third aspect of the present invention, there is provided an animal-trapping device comprising:
a receptacle capable of holding an animal;
a first sealable opening through which an animal is capable of entering the receptacle; and
a device for removing air from inside the receptacle once an animal is trapped inside the receptacle,
wherein the animal is killed by removing air from the receptacle and wherein the first sealable opening is in the form of a door and the animal- trapping device comprises a double-position closing mechanism having a first locked-but-unsealed position in which the animal cannot escape from the receptacle, but which allows air to enter the receptacle through a gap in the door to provide the animal with breathable air and having a second position in which the door is locked and sealed.
In the aspects above, the animal may be a rat and the animal-trapping device may be a rat-trapping device.
A BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
Embodiments of the present invention will now be described, by way of example only, with reference to the accompanying drawing in which:
Figure 1 is a representation of an animal-trapping device according to a first embodiment of the present invention.
Figure 2 is a representation of an animal-trapping device according to a second embodiment of the present invention.
Figure 3 is an exploded representation of an animal-trapping device according to the second embodiment of the present invention. Figure 4 is a representation of the double-position closing mechanism of an animal-trapping device according to an embodiment of the present invention.
Figure 5 is a representation of sections through a soft-seal door closing of an animal-trapping device according to an embodiment of the present invention.
Figure 6 is a representation of an animal-trapping device according to the second embodiment of the present invention, with the trap door open.
Figure 7 is a representation of a section through a quick-release valve of an animal-trapping device according to an embodiment of the present invention.
Figure 8 is a representation of a section through a communications device compartment of an animal-trapping device according to an embodiment of the present invention.
Figure 9 is a representation of a section through a cylindrical receptacle of an animal-trapping device according to another embodiment of the present invention.
Figure 10 is a longitudinal elevation view of a receptacle of an animal- trapping device according to another embodiment of the present invention.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION
Generally speaking the present invention resides in the provision of an animal-trapping device which on removal of air from a receptacle which is capable of trapping an animal provides a more humane procedure for killing of the animal. The animal-trapping device also provides the option of keeping alive and removing any other animals from the animal-trapping device before the killing operation starts. Figure 1 is a representation of an animal-trapping device according to the present invention. The animal-trapping device comprises a receptacle 101 which is manufactured from any suitable recycled plastics and/or metal/alloy. The receptacle 101 may be in any suitable shape. The inside of the receptacle 101 may be tunnel-like with curved internal corners that help to provide side-wall strength and also provide an environment attractive to rats.
The receptacle 101 comprises a door 102 which is capable of being closed automatically and forming a hermetic seal in the receptacle 101 . The closing door 102 comprises soft-close edges and forms an air-tight seal on closure of the door 102 but at the same time allows for a long-tail on an animal such as a rat to be caught in the door 102 without affecting the hermetic seal. The soft-close edges may comprise soft seals on the edge of the closing door 102 or around the frame of the door as part of the carcass of the receptacle.
The animal-trapping device also comprises a hinge mechanism 107 which is located at the top of the closing door 102. The hinge mechanism 107 is operated mechanically and/or electrically via a solenoid 109. The animal- trapping device also comprises a sensor 1 1 1 which activates automatically when an animal enters the trap. The release mechanism snaps the door 102 shut using a spring-loaded and/or electrical device. The animal- trapping device also comprises magnets 104 which are capable of holding the door 102 closed.
The animal-trapping device is capable of being run from electrical mains or alternatively may be powered using a battery such as a rechargeable battery. The battery life may be from 3 to 6 months. Alternatively, standard batteries may be used e.g. AA batteries.
As shown in figure 1 , the magnets 104 are located and built into the receptacle 101 and into the hinged door 102. The magnets 104 are strong enough to close the door 102 and to prevent any animal escaping but not strong enough to prevent a user from opening the door 102. The animal-trapping device also comprises a bait station 105 for holding food/water. The food chosen is attractive to an animal and the water ensures that an animal is not stressed during its captive period.
As shown in figure 1 , the animal-trapping device also comprises a clear plastic viewing window 106 that has an opaque cover that closes so that a trapped animal cannot see out. A user may therefore slide the top cover aside to see if an animal such as a rat has been caught. In the event that the animal that has been caught is not a target animal such as a rat, then the user can simply open the door 102 and release the trapped animal unharmed.
As shown in figure 1 , the hinge mechanism 107 is attached to the door 102. To set the trap, a user deactivates the sensor 1 1 1 using the side located switch (not shown) to allow the user to re-charge the food and water at the bait station 105. The device is then reactivated. The hinge mechanism 107 is then bent forward until a magnet 108 touches the solenoid 109. The solenoid 109 holds the magnet in position and the hinge mechanism 107 in place.
When an animal enters the trap, the sensor 1 1 1 automatically releases the solenoid 109 and the door 102 closes using the spring and/or electrical mechanism and is held by the magnets 104. In the case of a power failure, the mechanism using a fail-safe method automatically opens the door 102, thereby releasing the captured animal.
A shown in figure 1 , the magnet 108 is fixed to the hinge mechanism 107.
The solenoid 109 is also built into the receptacle 101 of the device and attached electrically to the sensor 1 1 1 that activates and deactivates its operation. The solenoid 109 as with all electrical parts of the device is controlled by the on-off switch on the side of the device.
As shown in figure 1 , the animal-trapping device also comprises a one-way (i.e. non-return) air valve 1 10. The air valve 1 10 is used for gradually removing the air from the hermetically sealed internal chamber of the device. The gradual removal of the air allows the animal to have a slow death but ensures loss of consciousness. Continual and gradual removal of the air (decompression/gradual hypoxia) in the sealed chamber allows an animal to die painlessly and without stress and thereby provides a humane approach to death for the trapped animal.
The electrical sensor 1 1 1 is therefore activated once an animal enters the receptacle 101 . Where activated the sensor 1 1 1 sends a signal to the solenoid 109 that in turn is deactivated, which by use allows the
hinge/electrical mechanism to release the door 102 which thereby closes automatically. The whole procedure is extremely quick and closing of the door 102 may be triggered in a micro-second from detection from the sensor 1 1 1 .
The animal-trapping device also comprises an antenna such as a wire loop antenna 1 12 which sends an electrical message at, for example, very low frequency underground (i.e. a leaky feeder). Above ground, a GPRS or WiFi radio communication may be used to notify a remote operative that an animal has been trapped and also provide the device number of the animal-trapping device. The antenna 1 12 may work in tunnels, sewers underground, in attics and roof spaces and in food barns.
The animal-trapping device also comprises a viewing glass which is an important feature of the embodiment. It may be made of glass, or plastic or other suitable transparent material. The one-way mirror 1 13 means that just before or during the animal entering the trap or once an animal is trapped, the animal-trapping device allows an animal to see out meaning that the oneway mirror 1 13 fools the animal into thinking that it is entering a longer tunnel rather than a sealable chamber.
An effect of the one-way mirror is that the animal, when outside the trap, can't see through the one-way mirror into the trap from the blocked end. This allows it to find to the entrance without awareness of the blockage what looks like from the other side as an exit from trap. So when it sees an exit through the one-way mirror from inside the trap, it is fooled to think it is a tunnel and is thus relatively safe to enter.
The animal-trapping device also comprises a carry handle 1 14 which allows easy removal of the device with a trapped animal.
The on-off switch is located on the outside of the animal-trapping device and may therefore provide easy usage for a user.
During use, the on-off switch may be used to deactivate the sensor 1 1 1 thereby allowing a user to clean the trap and remove the smell of death and also to replenish the food and the bait station 105. The smell of death is removed using a unique, secret-recipe natural formula that uses no chemicals but only food-grade ingredients. The natural formula is sprayed as a mist into the chamber prior to the bait station being refilled.
The means for removing the air from the receptacle 101 may be any suitable mechanism such as a hand-operated vacuum pump. The pump has the ability to remove the air from the internal chamber in a calibrated manner such that gradual decompression and hypoxia is achieved.
Figure 2 is a representation of an animal-trapping device according to a second embodiment of the present invention. Figure 3 is an exploded representation according to the second embodiment.
The animal-trapping device comprises a receptacle 201 which may be manufactured from any suitable recycled plastics and/or metal/alloy. The inside of the receptacle 201 is tunnel-like with curved internal corners that help to provide side-wall strength and also provide an environment attractive to rats.
The receptacle 201 comprises a door 202 which is capable of being closed automatically and forming a hermetic seal in the receptacle 201 . The closing door 202 comprises soft-close edges, which comprises seal 340, and forms an air-tight seal on closure of the door 202 but at the same time allows for a long-tail on an animal such as a rat to be caught in the door 202 without affecting the hermetic seal. The soft-close edges may be on the door, the receptacle or on both.
The animal-trapping device also comprises a hinge mechanism 207 which is located at the top of the closing door 202. The hinge mechanism 207 is operated mechanically via an activation rod 222.
The animal-trapping device comprises a door release mechanism which activates when an animal enters the trap, thus closing the door 202. The release mechanism comprises the activation rod 222, a spring 326, an activation pin 328, an activation pin seal and locator 330 and a pressure plate 332. The pressure plate 332 moves the activation pin when the weight of the animal falls on the pressure plate 332. The activation pin 328 passes through the activation pin seal and locator 330. The seal and locator 330 allow the activation pin 328 to pass through the receptacle while preserving the sealing of the receptacle when the air is removed. The activation pin 328 lowers and releases the activation rod 222, which, propelled by the compressed spring 326, moves along its length out of and away from a hole in a lug 323 (also shown in Figure 6) on the door 202. The door is spring-loaded to close, rotating around the hinge mechanism 207. Thus the door 202 is released by the animal, so trapping the animal.
The trap is set with the door 202 open, as shown in Figure 6, by the operator opening the door 202, pulling the activation rod 222 to compress the spring 326 against one of the activation rod locators 224. Simultaneously, the activation rod 222 is inserted into the hole in the lug 323 on the door 202. The activation pin 328 is then raised through the activation pin seal and locator 330 so that its upper end abuts the top end of the activation rod 222. The activation rod 222 presses against the activation pin 328, keeping the door release mechanism primed and ready to be released by an animal. The receptacle has an upper casing 334 and a lower casing 336. The lower casing has feet 338. The door 202 closes against the upper and lower casing 334 and 346 via an entry door seal 340. The door hinge 207 comprises door hinge pins 342 for closing the door.
The animal-trapping device is capable of being run from electrical mains or alternatively may be powered using a battery such as a rechargeable battery. The battery life may be from 3 to 6 months. Alternatively, standard batteries may be used e.g. AA batteries. A battery compartment 220 is formed on the upper casing 334. A battery compartment lid 350 is secured with a seal and a fixing.
The animal-trapping device also comprises a bait station 305 for holding food/water. The food chosen is attractive to an animal and the water ensures that an animal is not stressed during its captive period.
As shown in figures 2 and 3, the animal-trapping device also comprises a clear plastic viewing window 206 that may have an opaque cover (not shown) that closes so that a trapped animal cannot see out. In the event that the animal that has been caught is not a target animal such as a rat, then the user can simply open the door 202 and release the trapped animal unharmed.
As shown in figure 2, the animal-trapping device also comprises a two-way air valve 210. The air valve 210 is used for gradually removing the air from the hermetically sealed internal chamber of the device, as described with reference to the valve 1 10 with reference to figure 1 .
The animal-trapping device also comprises a viewing glass which is an important feature of the embodiment. It may be made of glass, or plastic or other suitable transparent material. The one-way mirror 213 means that just before or during the animal entering the trap or once an animal is trapped, the animal-trapping device allows an animal to see out meaning that the one- way mirror 213 fools the animal into thinking that it is entering a longer tunnel rather than a sealable chamber.
An effect of the one-way mirror is that the animal, when outside the trap, can't see through the one-way mirror into the trap from the blocked end. This allows it to find to the entrance without awareness of the blockage what looks like from the other side as an exit from trap. So when it sees an exit through the one-way mirror from inside the trap, it is fooled to think it is a tunnel and is thus relatively safe to enter.
In this embodiment, with referenced to figure 2, the one way-mirror 213 is openable by a hinge 218. With referenced to figure 3, the hinge comprises door hinge pins 344. The one way-mirror 213 is mounted in a lockable door 346, which closes against the receptacle 201 via a door seal 348. The one way mirror 213 may be sandwiched between two layers of acrylic sheeting to protect it.
As for the first embodiment described with reference to figure 1 , for this embodiment the means for removing the air from the receptacle 201 may be any suitable mechanism such as a hand-operated vacuum pump.
On either side of the lower casing 336 there are two teeth 352 spaced apart. On each side of the door 202 corresponding door catches 225 are provided. Thus on each side of the receptacle, a catch 225 is engagable with the two teeth 352 in two stages, thus providing a double-position closing mechanism.
Figure 4 is a representation of the double-position closing mechanism. The door 202 has a double-door catch with two closing positions. A portion of one side of the lower casing 336 is shown having the teeth 352. A door catch 225 is also shown engaged with the teeth. The door catch in this example has a release tab 454.
In the first position 456, the catch 225 is engaged with the tooth nearest the door opening (left-hand side in figure 4). This traps the animal preventing it from escape. Being in an locked-but-unsealed position 456 the animal cannot escape, but this position allows breathable air to enter the chamber through a gap in the door opening, to provide the animal with breathable air. In other words, in the first position with the door ajar, there is an air gap such that the held animal can breathe outside air but not escape from the receptacle.
Furthermore, if part of the animal such as a tail or limb remains in the door, the gap allows the animal to free its tail or limb whilst still remaining trapped within the chamber of the receptacle.
In the second position 458, the catch 225 is engaged with the next tooth away from the door opening. The door then closes (around the tail, if it is protruding) and provides the airtight seal. The second position 458 can be achieved by the operator pushing the door closed, towards the right side in figure 4.
The operator can open the door by inserting a finger under the release tab 454 and pulling, thus disengaging the catch from the teeth, allowing the door to open.
Figure 5 is a representation of sections through a soft-close door seal of an animal-trapping device according to an embodiment of the present invention.
Alternative methods can be used to fix to the seal to the receptacle or the door. As one example, an elevation view 560 and a plan view 562 show the EPDM (ethylene propylene diene monomer (M-class)) foam seal 340 glued to the receptacle 202 at the door opening. In another example, an elevation view 564 and a plan view 566 show the EPDM foam 340 glued into a recess in the receptacle 202 at the door opening.
In these examples, the soft-close seal on the door is manufactured from EPDM neoprene sheeting that is a general purpose closed cell sponge. It has good flexibility and a good resistance to ozone and UV light. The foam has a thickness of 5mm and when the door closes it compresses to 2mm. Rats have very long tails (17-25 cm) and thus when the rat is caught in the trap, there is a chance that the tail may still be hanging out of the back of the trap. However an airtight seal is needed when the door is fully closed, such as when it has moved to its second closed position as described above. The use of this soft-close material allows the door to close hermetically around the tail no matter where it may protrude from the door and still provide an air-tight seal.
Figure 6 is a representation of an animal-trapping device according to the second embodiment of the present invention, with the trap door 202 open. The door release mechanism is shown with the activation rod 222, spring 326, activation pin 328 and pressure plate 332. The lug 323 (also shown in Figure 6) on the door 202. The door is held open by the activation rod 222 being inserted into the lug 323, the door having been rotated to an open position around the hinge mechanism 207. A quick-release valve 210 is also shown.
Figure 7 is a representation of a section through a quick-release valve.
The easy-release two-way valve 210 is built into the top casing 334 of the trap. This allows a calibrated pump to be connected by a quick-release connector 770 and airline 772 and released easily. The valve 210 itself has a screw-fixed or ultrasonically welded plug 774 that allows air to be withdrawn from the chamber, to hold the specific vacuum level once achieved and to return normal air pressure to the chamber once the animal has been safely euthanized.
Figure 8 is a representation of a section through a communications device compartment of an animal-trapping device according to an embodiment of the present invention. The apparatus may have a micro-chip and other miniature electronics and a position for two or more AA batteries that will power the apparatus. Given that the intention is to use this device in restaurants, hotels, farms, open woodland, underground basements and in sewers and tunnels or other such situations, it is advantageous for the compartment to be water-tight. An embodiment of the trap is therefore provided with a water-tight
compartment 886 on the top casing 334 with walls 220 and a lid 350. The water-tight compartment 886 houses the on-board electronics and
communication device. An extended antenna is optional. The electronics also includes a Hall-effect or reed or other magnet-sensing switch. A magnet or electro-magnet 888 moves back and forth. The magnet forms a magnetic field 892 that acts through the plastic casing in turn activating the Hall, reed or other switch. The switch activates further switches on the batteries and the communications device that has been asleep. The communications device is activated and sends a signal to the operator via for example Wi-Fi or GSM. Once the communications device receives a return message from the operator's mobile device it can go back to sleep, saving battery life. The magnet 888 is moved by a stainless steel-rod 890 that is attached
mechanically to the pressure plate on the floor of the chamber. Movement of the plate moves the magnet. Thus the magnet inside the receptacle is arranged to be moveable by a trapped animal and to cooperate with a detector outside the receptacle to activate a communication device.
Embodiments of the trap may use a communication device to advise operators that the door closing mechanism has been activated and that an animal has been trapped. A messaging system will work in the basement of a building, in a tunnel or sewer, above ground urban areas / public buildings, in grain and other large food stores and others in similar environs, anywhere on a farm, in open woodland and in a forest. When an animal such as a rat enters the chamber an electronic sensor may activate a mechanism that swiftly closes the door trapping the animal inside. At the same time, the device will send a message to the operative advising that an animal has been caught. This labour-saving device will save the operative time having to check and re-check if the trap has been sprung. A switch is used to signal the trigger with the trigger being contained inside the watertight chamber. This allows that all of the connections are internal and the potential for water ingress either around the switch or where wires come through is eliminated. As described above, this may work by using a magnet 888 attached to the end of a steel rod 890. The rod itself is attached to a pressure plate on the floor of the chamber. When an animal such as a rat stands on the pressure plate it drops moving the magnet across the surface of the sealed chamber. This triggers the magnetic field around the magnet sending a signal and triggering via Hall Effect Switch or a Reed Switch. The magnetic field has the ability to activate the switch through the thickness of the plastic casing. In turn this keeps all electronics inside, with no external wiring or switches. The Hall Effect and Reed switches are well known, but this way of using them is advantageous. The robust and cost effective system and the labour-saving benefits of the trap / system are advantageous as is the concept of traps that can communicate with the operative.
Figure 9 is a representation of a section through a cylindrical receptacle of an animal-trapping device according to another embodiment of the present invention.
The plastic carcass 901 defines a pressure chamber. Lower casing feet 994 are also provided.
Figure 10 is a longitudinal elevation view of a receptacle of an animal- trapping device according to another embodiment of the present invention.
An octagonal or circular profile receptacle 1001 may have a sloping door closing mechanism 1002 with a one-way mirror 1013 at the other end.
It can be seen from the embodiments shown in figures 1 , 2, 9 and 10 that the trap is tunnel-like with a one-way mirror at the closed end. In the embodiment of figure 2 the one-way mirror 213 can be removed to provide easy access to fill the bait station 305 and it can be easily re-fixed and closes to provide an air-tight seal. The one-way mirror at the closed end provides the trap with a tunnel-like appearance that is attractive to rats. The mirror allows the animal, such as a rat, to see out (of the tunnel) but does not allow it or anything else to see in. The tunnel-like structure will encourage a rat to enter the chamber and by doing so just once, it will be trapped. Rodents are difficult to kill with poisons because their feeding habits reflect their place as scavengers. They will eat a small bit of something and wait, and if they do not get sick, they continue. However, embodiments of the present invention with their tunnellike appearance will eliminate the scavenging habits.
Embodiments of the present invention provide smart and selective killing, thus non-target species can be released unharmed.
For example, when an operative receives a message from the
communication device (on the trap) at his mobile phone advising that an animal has been trapped, he can go the trap. He slides the cover on the viewing panel to examine the contents and to see what sort of animal has been caught. If it is a non-target species (if for example it is a shrew, pine- martin, red squirrel, or other) it can be quickly and easily released unharmed.
The use of the two-part door-closing mechanism allows this to happen.
Spring-powered killing traps are indiscriminate and do not offer the possibility of releasing non-target species unharmed. Any animal that is in the trap will have air to breathe because the door closes preventing the animal from escaping, but leaves an air gap. The trap may have food and water in special compartments that a trapped animal can feed on until its demise or otherwise is determined.
The trap uses hypoxia as the killing method. It is quick and is considered humane. The term hypoxia translates from the Latin to mean below normal (hypo) oxygen (oxia). It is a physiological state in which tissues are deprived of adequate oxygen, and organs such as the brain, eyes, ears, lungs and heart are adversely affected. The air in the trap is withdrawn using a calibrated pump that the operative / user will attach to a one-way valve that is built into the outer casing of the trap. With two or three pulls of the pump the air will be removed from the chamber such that the pressure inside will replicate a measurement of between 0.860 kg/cm2 and 0.148 kg/cm2. This rapid decompression results in a lack of oxygen. Then sluggish thinking and dimmed vision sets in, followed by unconsciousness and painless death after about 60 seconds. Rats can survive underground in sewers and tunnels with little oxygen and thus using the correct air pressure by way of a calibrated time regulated air withdrawal to a precise calibrated vacuum causes a painless death rather than distress, convulsions and spasm that occur with other killing methods.
The top of the casing may have an air-pressure gauge to advise the operator of the pressure inside the trap.
Embodiments of the present invention are more efficient than spring-powered killing traps (known as snap traps, spring traps, or break-back traps). These traps are intended to cause death by crushing vital organs. If animals are not killed outright but are instead caught by for example a limb, tail or by the muzzle, they will suffer distress and a slow, painful death. It is important to affect no more pain to animals than necessary to achieve the aim and to refine the control methods so as to minimise unnecessary suffering (fear and pain). Snap traps do not do this. The embodiments described herein offer a clean, painless death.
The new or recycled plastic of the chamber, doors and other of the device may contain glass-fibre reinforcement in order to stand up to atmospheric pressure when the air is removed and also to stand up to attach from the trapped animal.
Whilst specific embodiments of the present invention have been described above, it will be appreciated that departure from the described embodiments may still fall within the scope of the present invention. For example, any suitable type of receptacle may be used. In addition, any means may be used to remove the air from the receptacle once an animal has been trapped. Moreover, any suitable type of one-way mirror may be used.

Claims

1 . An animal-trapping device comprising:
a receptacle capable of holding an animal;
a first sealable opening through which an animal is capable of entering the receptacle;
a portion of the receptacle comprising a one-way mirror through which the animal is capable of viewing and which is capable of fooling the animal into thereby thinking that the animal is entering a tunnel; and
a device for removing air from inside the receptacle once an animal is trapped inside the receptacle,
wherein the animal is killed by removing air from the receptacle.
2. An animal-trapping device according to claim 1 , further comprising a second sealable opening through which a person is capable of viewing a trapped animal.
3. An animal-trapping device according to any preceding claim, wherein receptacle is hermetically sealable thereby forming an air-tight seal and the first sealable opening comprises an automatically closing door and the closing door or receptacle comprises soft-close edges such that the closing door will close the first sealable opening and seal it at the same time but allowing for a long tail on an animal to be caught in the closing door without affecting the hermetic seal.
4. An animal-trapping device according to any preceding claim, wherein the first sealable opening is in the form of a door and the animal-trapping device comprises a double-position closing mechanism having a first locked-but- unsealed position in which the animal cannot escape from the receptacle, but which allows air to enter the receptacle through a gap in the door to provide the animal with breathable air and having a second position in which the door is locked and sealed.
5. An animal-trapping device according to any preceding claim, wherein the first sealable opening is in the form of a door which is capable of being opened and closed mechanically and/or electrically using a hinge mechanism when an animal is detected in the animal-trapping device.
6. An animal-trapping device according to any of claims 3 to 5, wherein the door when closed is held shut using a magnet mechanism which is built into the receptacle and into the door.
7. An animal-trapping device according to any preceding claim, wherein the animal-trapping device comprises a clear viewing window that has an opaque cover that closes such that a trapped animal cannot see out and wherein the cover is moveable which allows a user to view inside to view whether the trapped animal is a target animal, or not.
8. An animal-trapping device according to any preceding claim wherein the first sealable opening comprises a hinge mechanism wherein the hinge mechanism can be activated using a switch on the outside of the device which allows a user to re-charge the device with food and water at a bait station and when an animal enters the trap for the animal to be detected using a sensor which automatically releases a solenoid thereby allowing the first sealable opening in the form of a door to close.
9. An animal-trapping device according to any preceding claim, wherein a magnet is fixed to a hinge mechanism in the device.
10. An animal-trapping device according to any preceding claim, wherein a solenoid which activates the first sealable opening is built into the receptacle of the device and is attached electrically to a sensor that activates and deactivates the operation of the first sealable opening.
1 1 . An animal-trapping device according to any preceding claim, wherein the device comprises a one-way or two-way air valve which allows for gradual removal of air from a hermetically sealed chamber of the device.
12. An animal-trapping device according to any preceding claim, wherein the device comprises an electric sensor which is activated when an animal enters the receptacle.
13. An animal-trapping device according to any preceding claim, wherein the device comprises an antenna which is capable of sending electrical messages to a user using very low frequency underground messages or above ground radio communication to a remote location to notify a user that an animal has been trapped.
14. An animal-trapping device according to any preceding claim, wherein the one-way mirror allows the animal to see out thereby fooling the animal into thinking that it is entering a longer tunnel than the receptacle.
15. An animal-trapping device according to any preceding claim, wherein the device comprises a carry handle.
16. An animal-trapping device according to any preceding claim wherein an on-off switch is located on the outside of the device which allows a user to switch on and switch off the device for assisting in the cleaning of the trap, to remove the smell of death and to also replenish food in a bait station.
17. An animal-trapping device according to any preceding claim, wherein a hand-operated vacuum pump is used to remove air from the receptacle.
18. An animal-trapping device according to any preceding claim, further comprising a magnet inside the receptacle arranged to be moveable by a trapped animal and to cooperate with a detector outside the receptacle to activate a communication device.
19. An animal-trapping device according to any preceding claim, wherein the animal is a rat and the animal-trapping device is a rat-trapping device.
20. An animal-trapping device as hereinbefore described and/or as shown in the any of the figures.
PCT/GB2015/052965 2014-10-09 2015-10-09 Animal-trapping device WO2016055804A1 (en)

Priority Applications (2)

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GBGB1417883.4A GB201417883D0 (en) 2014-10-09 2014-10-09 Rat-trapping device

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EP3407711B1 (en) * 2016-01-29 2019-10-02 Steele, Sheila Joyce Insect and animal trapping device
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Also Published As

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GB201417883D0 (en) 2014-11-26
GB201517931D0 (en) 2015-11-25
GB2532862A (en) 2016-06-01
GB2532862B (en) 2017-01-11

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