29 March 2022

Bill to restrict glue traps passes second reading in England

The Glue Traps (Offences) Bill has passed its second reading unopposed, with the exemption for pest controllers still included, through the House of Lords at Westminster. 


Conservative peer Baroness Fookes argued that glue traps were "tantamount to torture" and no animal "whether regarded as a pest or not, should have to suffer such an inhumane way of dying".  

The Bill as it stands would make it an offence for a person to:

  • Set a glue trap if the intention was to kill rodents or if they knew it could kill a rodent
  • Allow or permit someone else to set the trap.

In addition, if a person passing saw such a trap and did nothing about it, this was also an offence. There are suggestions that this could be unfair on the innocent passer-by, however a passer-by who would not even recognise a glue trap if they saw one would be safe.

BPCA fought for an exemption for pest controllers, and this amendment remains in the Bill after its second reading in the House of Lords. This will be managed through a licensing regime. 

All this applies only to England; the devolved Administrations have the power to work on this issue themselves and almost all have expressed an interest in doing so. 

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, Lord Benyon, explained that the two year period before the offences apply would give adequate time to put a suitable licensing regime in place.

"Government looked forward to working closely with animal welfare groups and pest control organisations to ensure that the licensing regime is appropriate and effective", he added.  

He noted that Government currently expected the public authority delegated with the licensing functions to be Natural England, as it already fulfilled this function for other licences relating to wildlife management, such as licences for bird control.

Government looked forward to working closely with animal welfare groups and pest control organisations to ensure that the licensing regime is appropriate and effective

Lord Benyon, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Defra

Ian Andrew, BPCA Chief Exec, commented:

“We’ve always shared the concerns of animal welfare groups on the subject of glue boards.

“They’re right; in the wrong hands, these can be nasty tools with potentially disastrous consequences for non-target and target species.

“A licensing scheme that takes glue boards out of the hands of untrained amateurs but retains them for professionals to use in critical public health situations is best for everyone”.

What is committee stage?

Committee stage involves detailed line by line examination of the separate parts (clauses and schedules) of a bill. Starting  from the front of the bill, members work through to the end. 

Usually starting about two weeks after the second reading debate, committee stage generally lasts for up to eight days, but can go on for longer.

What happens at committee stage?

During committee stage every clause of the bill has to be agreed to and votes on any amendments can take place.

All suggested amendments have to be considered, if a member wishes, and members can discuss an issue for as long as they want. 

What happens after committee stage?

If the bill has been amended it is reprinted with all the agreed amendments. At the end of committee stage, the bill moves to report stage for further scrutiny.


Every single user of glue boards should be aware of how to use them responsibly.

Take a look at the following resources available to all pest professionals:

Source: Online