Animal rights campaigners celebrated as the government approved the Glue Traps Bill, making it illegal for the public to use cruel and inhumane rodent glue traps. The Bill finally became an Act of Parliament on 28 April 2022.

What are glue traps?

Glue traps are boards coated in very strong adhesive, so if a mouse or rat walks onto it, the creature gets stuck. Humane Society International (HSI) describes the extreme torture a rodent goes through if it gets caught in one of the traps:

“Trapped animals struggle to free themselves and may become more and more embedded in the glue. Some rodents break bones and tear off, or even bite through, their own limbs in an attempt to free themselves. After a fruitless struggle, they may succumb to exhaustion, collapse face down in the glue, and die of suffocation when the glue lodges in their nasal passages. Most often death comes from a combination of exhaustion, dehydration, and starvation. This can take anywhere from three to 24 hours, or more.”

If they find a live animal stuck to the glue, the person who laid the trap must then kill it with a swift blow to the head. But all too often people are too squeamish to do this, and instead decide to leave the animal to die a slow death, or opt to drown it.


When the Bill passed into law, campaigners celebrated. HSI said:

“VICTORY! Rodent glue traps will be BANNED for public use in England! The Glue Traps Bill has just been approved in Parliament. Thank you @Jane_Stevenson_@ChrisGPackham & all who supported our Unstuck campaign to protect animals from these barbaric devices!”

But others are concerned that the new Act doesn’t cover a blanket ban on the use of glue traps. Instead it makes “certain uses of glue traps an offence”. Pest controllers are still permitted to apply for licences to use the traps.

The Act reads:

“The Secretary of State may grant a licence under this section (a “glue trap licence”) authorising a pest controller specified or described in the licence to engage in conduct, for the purpose of preserving public health or public safety…

The Secretary of State may not grant a glue trap licence for a purpose...unless the Secretary of State is satisfied that, as regards that purpose, there is no other satisfactory solution.”

In reply to animal rights campaigners’ concerns, HSI tweeted that it is still progress. It said:

“‘Pest’ controllers must apply to Secretary of State for a licence, only granted if ‘no other satisfactory solution’. This mirrors New Zealand’s 2015 glue trap ban where glue trap licences have fallen year on year, with zero approvals given in 2021. So progress, not pointless!”

But if we are to take New Zealand as an example, we would need to wait six years for ‘pest’ controllers to be given zero approvals. A blanket ban would be far more humane. 

A quick glance on both Amazon and ebay shows that glue traps are still very much being sold to the public. We can all report these sellers, but ultimately it is down to the government to enforce its own law. Let’s put pressure on it to do so. 

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