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pest control

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Rabbi Chaim Tabasky

Adar 27, 5770
Question
Is it permissible to put live bugs in a bag and discard them? My garden is infested w/ slugs. I would like to collect them into a bag and put it into a garbage can without handling poison. Is it Tsar Ba’alei Chayim? I don’t know if they would suffocate, starve, feast on each other. Thank you and Kol tuv
Answer
Yes, it is allowed to discard the bugs. The prohibition of cruelty to animals applies mainly when the act is wanton and to no purpose. In this case it is unclear if any suffering is involved. It is permitted to use insecticides or other means to dispose of harmful insects and rodents.
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