People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals has weighed in on President Donald Trump’s recent critique of Baltimore as “a rat and rodent infested mess” with a new billboard in the city Monday.
In the billboard, a cartoon Jared Kushner, Trump’s son-in-law, is portrayed as a “rich pest," sitting on a pile of cash, while a forlorn-looking cartoon rat holding a piece of cheese is just “a poor guy trying to survive."
“Smart, social, resourceful rats who are just trying to eke out an existence suffer when entitled landlords neglect humane rodent-control measures,” PETA President Ingrid Newkirk said in a statement. “PETA encourages building managers to evict unwanted tiny tenants using only effective, nonlethal methods.”
The billboard is on North Gay Street near the Interstate 83 entrance ramp at the Fallsway.
PETA offered the following six tips for humane rodent control:
- Use ingestible birth control, which renders male rats infertile and causes females to reach menopause more quickly. This method has seen success in pilot programs in New York City, Chicago and Washington, D.C.
- Reduce the amount of food, water and shelter available.
- Landlords should provide sturdy, well-sealed garbage containers.
- Pets should be fed indoors, and dishes should be picked up after they eat.
- Trim back vegetation around buildings, stack wood in tight piles away from the house, and seal holes larger than a quarter inch in diameter, cracks in the walls and floors, and gaps around doors, windows, and plumbing.
- After rat-proofing the building, residents should live-trap and remove any rats still inside. They can use a commercially available Havahart trap or make their own. They must check the trap hourly and release any captured rats within 100 yards of where they were caught.
The Kushner Cos. did not respond to a request for comment.
The rat billboard is far from PETA’s first controversial one. The organization took another one out in Baltimore last summer, urging people to stop eating crabs.
Its message: “I’m me, not meat. See the individual. Go vegan."