Government backs Bill banning the use of glue traps for pest control


The use of cruel and inhumane glue traps to catch rodents could be banned under a new law backed by the Government.

Glue traps are a widely available and cheap method of pest control. However the sticky traps can cause immense suffering to rodents, as the animals can remain alive for at least 24 hours after capture and it can take even longer for them to die. Pets and wildlife can also fall victim, with RSPCA rescuing buzzards and cats from the traps in the last year.

Also known as ‘glue boards’ or ‘sticky boards’, they consist of a sheet of plastic, cardboard or wood coated with non-drying adhesive designed to trap rodents such as mice and rats as they cross the board.

However, less than 27% of animals involved in incidents seen by the RSPCA were rodents, and a huge 73% of incidents involved non-target species such as pets and other wild animals, many of which were too badly maimed and injured to survive.

Over the last five years alone, the RSPCA has received over 200 reports of animals not considered to be pests including wild birds, hedgehogs and pet cats being found stuck in them.

The Glue Traps (Offences) Bill has been introduced Parliament by Jane Stevenson MP today (Wednesday 16th June). The new Bill will enable a full ban on the use of glue traps to catch rodents.

The UK has a strong history of leading the way on animal welfare and now that we have left the EU, the Government say it is committed to improving these standards even further by delivering a series of ambitious reforms, outlined in the Action Plan for Animal Welfare

Introducing the Bill, Jane Stevenson, MP for Wolverhampton North East, said:

When pest control is needed we have a responsibility to use the most humane methods in order to prevent unnecessary suffering. A rodent stuck in a glue trap will suffer a slow and painful death, which isn’t acceptable when other pest control methods are available.

Glue traps don’t just capture rodents. Other animals injured or killed by these traps include pet cats, birds, owls, bats, fox cubs and hedgehogs. It is surely time to end the use of these inhumane and indiscriminate traps.

I thank Minister Goldsmith for backing this important piece of legislation, which is part of the Government’s commitment to improve UK animal welfare standards after Brexit. I look forward to working with colleagues to get this ban on the statute books.

Animal Welfare Minister Lord Goldsmith said:

The UK already has some of the highest animal welfare standards in the world and as an independent nation we are now able to raise them even further. We are determined to do so, and are currently engaged in the biggest shake up of animal welfare laws for generations. Part of that involves supporting the banning of these appallingly cruel devices.

Glue traps cause slow and unimaginably painful deaths and there is no way of preventing other types of animals being caught by them, so I am delighted we are able to back Jane Stevenson MP’s important Private Member’s Bill today. We will do all we can to help her get this new law onto the statute books.

Glue traps are considered by many to be an inhumane method of trapping and the Animal Welfare Act 2006 requires that animals caught must not be subjected to unnecessary suffering.

A recent policy statement by the British Veterinary Association highlighted that rodents stuck in glue can suffer multiple injuries including torn skin and broken limbs, which can result in a slow and painful death.

Chris Sherwood, Chief Executive of the RSPCA, said:

We are absolutely delighted to see the first steps towards a ban of torturous glue traps which cause such suffering and misery to animals.

Our frontline rescuers and hospital staff are sickened by the horrific injuries animals suffer as they struggle to free themselves. Mice and rats are the main victims but other animals such as snakes, robins, owls and even kittens and cats maimed or fatally injured because of these awful traps.

We applaud Jane Stevenson in her mission to ban these traps and are pleased to see this bill has Government support. We believe the public want to see traps like this banned and hope this bill progresses through parliament quickly so we can consign glue traps to the history books for good.

The Government say the Bill will complement their wider drive to introduce greater protections for animals through its Action Plan for Animal Welfare.

In May the Government introduced legislation to formally recognise animals as sentient beings in domestic law through the Animal Welfare (Sentience) Bill. In addition to this, earlier this month the Government also introduced Animal Welfare (Kept Animals) Bill to improve welfare standards through a wide range of measures for pets, farmed and kept wild animals.

If anyone finds an animal in a glue trap please seek veterinary treatment as soon as possible or call RSPCA hotline 0300 1234999.


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