Closed petition Make glue traps illegal within the UK

Make it illegal for both glue traps to be sold and used within the UK to stop the suffering of animals.

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Glue traps are used commonly to capture wildlife and unwanted pests. Glue traps are extremely inhumane and it’s not just vermin that get caught on these traps. Animals can suffer for days whilst stuck to this trap leading to starvation and dehydration and some animals even chew their own limbs off to escape. This is a painful and torturous way to capture and get rid of animals and many animals suffer unnecessarily.

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Government responded

This response was given on 21 April 2021

The Government is aware of concerns around the use of glue traps and we are engaging with key stakeholders on this issue.

Read the response in full

There are growing calls for a ban on the use of glue traps, which can cause immense suffering to both target and non-target animals. It is an issue we are looking at very closely as part of our continued drive to maintain the highest animal welfare standards in the world. Anyone using glue traps has a responsibility under the Animal Welfare Act 2006 to act within the law to ensure their activities do not cause any unnecessary suffering.

At present, the use of glue traps is a lawful method of pest control for mammals (unless specially protected) in England. We have developed a code of practice for the humane use of glue traps, which is the legal responsibility of the pest controller. The code of practice states that glue boards should be inspected within 12 hours of placing and revisited at a minimum of every 12 hours.

The Government does not monitor operators of glue traps: the onus is on operators to act within the law. Under the Animal Welfare Act 2006 it remains the responsibility of the pest controller to deal with any animals trapped on the board. The Act requires that caught animals must not be subjected to unnecessary suffering and should be dispatched humanely as soon as they are discovered. All other options for pest control should have been considered and found to have failed, or to be inappropriate, before the use of glue traps/sticky boards is implemented.

If any person believes an individual is using illegal methods of pest control or inflicting unnecessary suffering on animals, the matter should be reported to the police. It would be for the courts to decide whether the method of entrapment caused any suffering and if so, if this was unnecessary, in any particular case that was brought before them. The current penalty for causing unnecessary suffering to animals under the Animal Welfare Act is six months imprisonment and/or an unlimited fine.

We continue to look at this matter closely and would reiterate that the most effective long-term solutions for pest control are preventative and deterrent strategies, such as removing or proofing food and shelter sources.

Department of Environment Food and Rural Affairs

Other parliamentary business

Government announces plans for new animal welfare laws

As part of the Queen's Speech on Tuesday 11th May, the Government announced that it plans to introduce new laws to protect and promote the highest standards of animal welfare in the UK.

The Government's proposals are set out in a new Action Plan for Animal Welfare, which was published this week. Its proposals focus on improving the welfare of pets and farmed animals, and protecting wild animals in the UK and animals exported or found outside the UK.

The Government intends to introduce three new Bills into Parliament to make these changes - the Animal Welfare (Sentience) Bill, the Kept Animals Bill, and the Animals Abroad Bill. These Bills will be published in due course.

Read more about the Government's plans here:

Read the Queen's Speech background briefing notes for more information on the Government's proposed Bills:

What is the Queen's Speech?

The Queen's Speech is the speech that the Queen reads out in the House of Lords Chamber on the occasion of the State Opening of Parliament.

It's written by the Government and sets out the programme of Bills - new laws, and changes to existing laws - that the Government intends to put forward in this new Parliamentary session. A session of Parliament usually lasts around one year.

Once the Government puts forward a Bill in Parliament, Parliament then debates the Government's proposal and decides whether to adopt the changes to the law set out in the Bill.