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:
Animal Welfare Minister Lord Goldsmith said:
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:
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.