In a huge win for animals, glue traps will now be banned across England after a Bill received unanimous support during the final reading in the House of Lords.
Source: PETA UK/Youtube
The Humane Society International/UK led a campaign called “Unstuck” to end the use of “inhumane, indiscriminate and indefensible” glue boards. Glue traps are incredibly cruel and immobilize small mammals in a strong and sticky adhesive where they are stuck and die a slow death, or they suffocate, rip off their skin and fur, and break their limbs in an attempt to escape.
Conservative MP Jane Stevenson, who sponsored the bill, said, “The banning of the use of glue traps by the general public is another step forward in the strengthening of animal welfare legislation in England, and I want to thank everyone involved in making this happen. The use of glue traps is cruel and barbaric, and has often led to animals not intended to be caught in these traps dying in the most inhumane way. Together with ministers at Defra and organisations such as HSI/UK, the RSPCA and others, I am pleased to have made a positive difference.”
Despite how cruel these traps are, they are still widely used and sold for incredibly cheap in just about every store. The traps also threaten other animals like hedgehogs, wild birds, snakes, and even pet cats and dogs who can get caught in the trap as well.
The legislation has a limited exception for “pest” control operations to apply to the Secretary of State for a license to use one of these traps. This could be granted when there is “no other satisfactory solution” or where the action is required for “the purpose of preserving public health or safety.” This exemption is similar to that of New Zealand, which banned glue traps in 2015, and glue trap licenses have fallen every year since, with no approvals for use in 2021.
Claire Bass, the executive director of Humane Society International/UK, said, “Glue traps are crude devices that cause horrific suffering to millions of animals. It is absolutely right that their public use will be banned, and we hope this will precipitate their removal from sale by retailers since it will be illegal for their customers to use them. It is immoral to subject small, sentient wildlife to being immobilised on these sticky boards, only to suffocate in the glue, die slowly of their injuries, or be ineptly killed by unprepared members of the public who resort to drowning or throwing them in the rubbish while still alive. The licensing regime for glue trap use by the ‘pest’ control industry will need to be strictly managed to ensure that these cruel products are no longer casually used with impunity.”
Once the Bill receives Royal Assent, the new law will make it an offense for the public or any pest control company to use glue traps without a license. Failure to do so could result in a fine and or up to 51 weeks in prison. Finding a glue trap but failing, without reasonable excuse, to ensure the trap is disabled can also constitute an offense.
There are many other ethical and humane ways to deter these animals without killing them with cruel traps and techniques. Killing these animals does not give a permanent solution to the problem. The best thing to do is to remove food sources that the animals might be attracted to or block small openings that they could be coming into your house through.
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