Ban called for on the retail sale of rodent glue boards

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In a press release on 27 October, the Humane Society International/UK (HSI/UK) launched its Unstuck campaign to highlight the cruelty of rodent glue traps and to call for a UK ban on the retail sales of these devices which are already outlawed on animal welfare grounds in New Zealand and Ireland.

HSI/UK said: “Millions of rats and mice experience prolonged cruelty from glue traps, a widely used inhumane rodent control product.”

HSI/UK are calling upon the general public to email retailers and wholesalers who sell glue boards to discontinue the sale of glue traps. B&Q, Homebase, The Range and many other high street chains already refuse to stock these devices.

As part of their campaign, HSI/UK have produced a shocking video – Stuck to death – portraying a mouse caught on a glue board with a female human voice-over recording its plight – anyone, especially anyone from the general public, watching this cannot fail to be moved.

Mouse On Glueboard 410X290
HSI/UK propose that rodent glue boards be removed from retail sale in the UK

This campaign coincides with the imminent publication of the Law Commission’s review of UK wildlife legislation and its proposal for a new and simple wildlife law. HSI/UK has submitted a robust case for a glue trap ban to be included.

Readers will be aware that professional users of such devices are already regulated by a Code of Best Practise published by the Pest Management Alliance in 2010. These products should only be used as a means of last resort.

The HSI/UK survey
A YouGov poll, commissioned by HSI/UK and undertaken in June this year, looked at the public use of and attitudes to rodent glue traps revealed that mis-use of the traps is potentially breaking the law, and that the majority of people believe they should be banned.

Of a representative sample of 2,044 UK adults:

  • Almost a quarter (23%) had used, or would consider using this type of trap;
  • More than half (51%) said they either wouldn’t know what to do with an animal caught on a glue trap or would recommend an action that risked committing an offence under the Animal Welfare Act (2006). The latter included nine per cent who said they would drown the animal and six per cent who said they would leave the animal to die on the trap;
  • Only 20% recommended killing a trapped animal using the method advised by the professional pest control industry and accepted by experts as being ‘humane’ (hitting the animal with a sharp blow);
  • 68% agreed that glue traps should be banned in the UK.

Animals caught on glue traps are theoretically protected under the Animal Welfare Act (2006), meaning that people have a legal responsibility to protect them from ‘unnecessary suffering’. Leaving an animal on a trap to die from starvation or dehydration, or killing it inhumanely — such as drowning — could be a prosecutable offence.

However, HSI/UK’s poll results revealed a widespread lack of understanding of appropriate and humane handling of animals caught on glue traps. The poll showed that glue traps are being mis-used, leading to unacceptable and unnecessary animal suffering. The results clearly make a case for them to be removed from public sale and it is heartening to see the vast majority of the British public agrees.

No sentient animal — cat, dog, rabbit, rat or mouse — should be subjected to fear, suffering and such a prolonged and agonising death.

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