Latest News from BPCA

23 August 2021

Animal Welfare Action Plan and pest management

LEGISLATION | PPC104 AUGUST 2021

On 12 May, the government published an action plan for animal welfare which has implications for the whole pest management sector.

While the ban of glue boards via the Glue Traps (Offences) Bill might be making the biggest stir at the moment, it’s by no means the only consideration for our industry.

UK Governement Animal Welfare Action Plan and pest management BPCA

SPEED VIEW:

  • The action plan includes a commitment to a range of new welfare measures to protect pets, livestock and wild animals
  • The Glue Traps (Offences) Bill was introduced to Parliament as a Private Members’ Bill but has the full backing of Government and Defra
  • 77% of members voted in favour of lobbying to change the Bill and fight to keep glue boards in our toolkit
  • BPCA is now collecting case studies and evidence of where glue boards have been essential for protecting public health and well-being.

The Action Plan for Animal Welfare was launched by Environment Secretary George Eustice and recognised animals as sentient in law. The action plan includes a commitment to a range of new welfare measures to protect pets, livestock and wild animals.

The colourful twenty-page document (complete with the Environment Secretary cuddling a kitten on page three) promises sweeping reforms to how the UK protects our pets, livestock and wildlife.

Glue board bans

On 16 June, Defra and Lord Goldsmith issued a press release stating that the “Government backs Glue Traps (Offences) Bill to crack down on inhumane traps”.

While the Action Plan did indicate restrictions on the use of glue boards, this was the first confirmation that a total ban for professional and amateur use was on the cards.

The Glue Traps (Offences) Bill was introduced to Parliament by Jane Stevenson MP as a Private Members’ Bill but appears to have the full backing of Government and Defra.

No draft Bill has been published at the time of writing and isn’t likely to be until its second reading in November.

If Parliament passes legislation (which seems likely given the universal appeal of the Bill), Defra has indicated that a ban is unlikely to come into effect for at least two years.

The proposed legislation would affect England and Wales. However, with the Scottish Animal Welfare Commission’s report on the use of rodent glue traps (released 23 March this year), Scotland will likely follow suit with similar legislation.

What is a Private Members’ Bill?

Private Members’ Bills are public bills introduced by MPs and Lords that are not government ministers. As with other Public Bills, their purpose is to change the law as it applies to the general population.

A minority of Private Members’ Bills become law, but they may indirectly affect legislation by creating publicity around an issue.

Very few Private Members’ Bills get the level of support we’ve seen for the Glue Traps (Offences) Bill. Defra, Secretary of State George Eustice and Lord Goldsmith have all promised their full support.

Very few Private Members’ Bills get the level of support we’ve seen for the Glue Traps (Offences) Bill. Defra, Secretary of State George Eustice and Lord Goldsmith have all promised their full support.

It’s a long road for a Private Members’ Bill to become law. If the Bill passes its second reading in November (without any back-bench MP intervention), it’ll need to be legislated before the end of this session of Parliament next April/May.

Lead ammunition, snares and tougher sentencing

Several other areas highlighted in the Action Plan also could impact the pest management industry, including restricting the use or sale of lead ammunition and a call for evidence on the use of snares.

The issue of animal sentience is central to the report. The government plan to tackle animal welfare issues is via harsher sentencing and enforcement of wildlife crime.

Places around the wrold where glue boards for rodents are banned

What else is in the plan?

There are many other changes that we imagine will have little effect on pest management.

Improving pet welfare

  • Import rules changes to curb puppy smuggling
  • Compulsory microchipping for cats
  • Crack down on pet theft through a new government taskforce
  • Ban remote controlled training e-collars.

Protecting wild animals

  • Make it illegal to keep primates as pets
  • New laws to crack down on illegal hare coursing
  • Fund wildlife conservation projects both at home and abroad.

Protecting animals abroad

  • Ban the import of hunting trophies from endangered animals
  • Ban ivory sales by implementing the Ivory Act this year
  • Prohibit import and export of detached shark fins to protect shark species
  • Exploring a ban on the sale of foie gras
  • Ban advertisement in this country of unacceptable low-welfare animal practices abroad – such as elephant rides.

Improving welfare for farmed animals

  • End export of live animals for fattening and slaughter
  • New measures to improve welfare during transport
  • Give police more powers to protect farm animals from dangerous or out of control dogs
  • Examine the use of cages for poultry and farrowing crates for pigs
  • Improve animal welfare at slaughter
  • Incentivise farmers to improve animal health and welfare through future farming policy.

Fighting the ban on glue boards

On 24 and 25 June, BPCA called member summits to help decide the future of glue boards. Every member was invited to attend and vote on BPCA’s decision to either back the government’s ban or lobby to change the Bill.

77% of members who attended the summit voted in favour of lobbying to change the Bill and fight to keep glue boards in our toolkit. The BPCA Executive Board later ratified this decision in a July meeting.

77% of members who attended the summit voted in favour of lobbying to change the Bill and fight to keep glue boards in our toolkit. The BPCA Executive Board later ratified this decision in a July meeting.

We’re collecting case studies and evidence of where glue boards have been essential for protecting public health and well-being - for example, hospitals, food factories, care homes, and vulnerable people’s homes.

We’re also building a case for the use of glue boards to capture rodents stuck in a single room. No viable alternatives for this specific use causes less distress to rodents than a supervised glue board and immediate dispatch by a technician still on site.

BPCA will then help draft co-signed letters so members can lobby their MPs. We aim to find sympathetic MPs and drum up enough support to amend the proposed Bill.

To support the campaign, go to bpca.org.uk/glueboards

Source: PPC104

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