The Glue Traps (Offences) Bill is a Private Member’s Bill introduced into the House of Commons by Jane Stevenson on 16 June 2021, with Government support. Second reading of the Bill took place on 19 November 2021. Committee stage, where the Bill was unamended, took place on 19 January 2022.

Glue traps consist of a board with a non-drying glue strong enough for mice or rats to stick to. Animal welfare groups have campaigned for them to be banned.

The British Veterinary Association, which represents vets in the UK, believes they are inhumane and would like to see a ban on the use of the traps by professionals and of their sale to the public. The RSPCA’s view is that they cause unnecessary suffering when used to control pests, and can also cause harm to pets and wildlife. It proactively contacts retailers who stock them to ask them to stop doing so. The Universities Foundation for Animal Welfare view on glue traps is that they “cause very significant suffering over a long period of time” and are an unacceptable form of pest control.    

Currently their use is governed by a voluntary code of best practice produced by industry bodies after consultation with Government.

The Explanatory Notes published alongside the Bill set out the provisions in the Bill, which will come into force two years after it becomes law.  These include:

  • Making it a criminal offence punishable by prison and/or a fine to set glue traps to catch a rodent or setting them in a way that risks a catching a rodent.
  • Creating an exception through a licencing system that will allow pest control professionals to use glue traps in exceptional circumstances: to preserve public health or public safety if no alternatives exist.
  • Making it an offence punishable with a fine, in England, for anyone who finds a glue trap “that has been set in a manner which gives rise to a risk that a rodent will become caught” and fails to “ensure that the glue trap no longer gives rise to such a risk, unless the person has a reasonable excuse for failing to do so”.

During second reading of the Bill, the Government set out in detail how it  intended to implement the legislation, including how the licencing regime would work. In response to calls for a complete ban on glue traps, the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, Jo Churchill, said that although this may be desirable “there are rare circumstances where we might need them”. She also provided further detail on the proposals that might require “passers-by” to deal with glue traps, including what would constitute a reasonable excuse not to, in response to concerns raised by Members during the debates.

Remaning stages of the Bill in the House of Commons are due to take place on 4 Februry 2022.

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