The Royal Environmental Health Institute of Scotland (REHIS) have submitted a comment to the Scottish Parliament on the petition lodged to urge the Scottish Government to ban the sale and use of glue traps and boards in Scotland, for consideration by the Committee. 

Glue traps are indiscriminate and can cause prolonged suffering to any animal caught in them. The indiscriminate nature of these traps was illustrated by the recent case of a female blackbird discovered by a customer at a pet shop in Inverness. The bird while trying to escape pulled off one leg and most of her feathers on her tail and underside.

Guidelines state that these traps should be checked frequently and any caught animal should be killed by a swift blow to the head. At present there is no regulation over these devices and are for sale to the public and their use is not monitored to check compliance with guidelines. 

Glue traps and boards are currently banned in Ireland, New Zealand and the Australian state of Victoria. UK wide petitions for the banning of glue traps and boards have been launched, which indicates the public’s desire for control of use and sale of glue boards. Therefore, it is thought, if the Scottish Government agrees to ban these products this will set an important precedent for the rest of the UK to follow suit.

REHIS submitted the following response:

“REHIS recognises the need for control of use of glue boards in pest control. We consider that they are open to misuse, can entrap non-target species if used incorrectly and cause unnecessary suffering to target species. There are, however, cases of last resort, where other control measures have failed and there is no alternative to the use of glue boards. We would support the removal of glue boards for sale to the amateur sector and their restriction for use to the professional pest control sector. In addition, their use within the professional sector needs to be controlled so that only trained and competent personnel can use these products in accordance with a strict set of guidelines.

The Pest Management Alliance has recently updated a Code of Practice for the Humane Use of Glue Boards in consultation with DEFRA which could provide the basis of either a Statutory Code of Practice or a licensing scheme similar to the bird control licensing scheme operated by Scottish National Heritage to preserve public health, public safety and prevent the spread of disease.”