Glue traps are one of the cruelest and most indiscriminate methods of animal control. As highlighted by the RSPCA, these traps have major animal welfare costs:
- When animals cross the board they become stuck by their feet. Unable to free themselves, other parts of their body then become stuck, further entrapping them. In attempting to get free they may rip out patches of fur, break bones and even gnaw through their own limbs to escape.
- After three to five hours animals have been reported as covered in their own faeces and urine. However, trapped animals may be left for much longer periods than that, during which time they will experience pain, distress and unacceptable suffering. If trapped animals are left unattended they will die slowly from dehydration, starvation or exhaustion.
- Professional operators should be able to humanely despatch the animal, but others may not be able to do so and animals may be left to suffer or be killed by inhumane methods.
Although there is a Code of Practice relating to their use, which states that distributors should not supply to persons who are not trained or competent, these traps are openly available to the general public through hardware stores, garden centres and other retailers. This illustrates the limited effectiveness of the code and the threat to animal welfare posed by this kind of trap.
In March, I wrote to George Eustice, the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, to ask that he consider the animal welfare benefits of banning glue traps.
I have now received a reply from Rebecca Pow, the Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs, a copy of which I have posted below for you to see.
Although the Minister did not commit to banning glue traps, she did confirm that the sale and use of glue traps are included in the Government’s ongoing development of animal welfare and animal-related policies. I am eager to see these policies which will “strengthen our position as a world leader in this field”.